In terms of spam, Donald Trump is beating Hillary Clinton hands down

Spammers and cybercrooks are big fans of the Republican candidate

As the U.S. presidential election nears, Donald Trump is emerging as the clear winner -- at least when it comes to having his name used in spam messages.

Spammers and cyber attackers are using Trump's name far more than Hillary Clinton's in emails pushing get rick quick schemes or phishing for personal information, according to an analysis from Proofpoint.

The security firm scanned the subject line of emails received by its customers in June and July looking for occurrences of "trump" or "clinton," and found that the Republican nominee appeared in 169 times as many emails as his Democratic opponent.

election spam04 Proofpoint

An example of the Trump-themed spam

It’s not clear why spammers gravitated towards Trump over Clinton, but his ability to make headlines and ignite passions on both sides seems to have something to do with it. The messages generally fell into one of two categories, Proofpoint said: "surprising election news" about Trump, or emails promising to help you "get rich" or "get smart" like Trump.

Subject lines included “Trump – I Uncovered a Secret” and “Trump: Average Americans can beat wall street every time.” The messages sometimes included fake news stories from sites like CNN and Fox News to make them look authentic.

On at least one occasion, criminals sent a phishing email that required people to "sign in" with their Gmail credentials to take part in a fake presidential poll. Other emails included links that led to phishing websites.

Not surprisingly, Proofpoint advises people to be careful when opening election-themed email.

Online scammers routinely use presidential elections to help ply their trade. Four years ago, cybercriminal made wide use of Barack Obama's name to trick people into visiting malicious sites.

Generally, scammers will use any major public event as a lure to get people to open their mails and click on links, including earthquakes and terrorist attacks.

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Michael Kan

IDG News Service
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