STOP THE SPAM

Physician's Money Digest, June30 2003, Volume 10, Issue 12

If you open your e-mail inboxevery day only to find a bunch ofmessages touting get-rich-quickinvestments or herbal supplements,you know how annoying unsolicitede-mails, known as spam, can be. Onthe eve of a recent antispam conference in Washington, DC, the FederalTrade Commission reportedwhat most savvy e-mail users alreadyknow—two thirds of all spamcomes with false information in the"from" or "subject" line. And whenthe spam is about investments, 90%of it is likely to contain bogusclaims. Anywhere from 40% to 80%of the e-mail carried by the bigInternet service providers likeAmerica Online is spam. Calls for anational "do not e-mail" list andefforts by AOL, Microsoft, andYahoo to stem the flood have beenless than successful, as spammershave proven to be elusive.