Spam Most Often Promised "Hot Action" in 2003

January 2, 2004 ( - As if plan sponsors didn't have enough to fret about in the new year, it looks like spam e-mail about juicy topics as Viagra and "Hot XXX action" aren't going away anytime soon.

In fact, according to a new list by giant Internet service provider AOL, the two e-mail subject lines were among the 10 most frequently used topics for the dreaded e-mails that will keep employers scrambling in 2004 to avoid having the electronic junk slow their e-mail system to a crawl, Reuters reported.

On the spam subject top 10 list were:

  • hot XXX action
  • as seen on Oprah
  • online pharmacy
  • get bigger
  • online degree
  • lowest insurance rates
  • work from home
  • get out of debt.

As one indicator of the size of the problem, during calendar 2003, AOL blocked nearly 500 billion spam messages from reaching user inboxes, an average of 40 fewer such messages per day per subscriber account. The company said it regularly blocks 75% to 80% of incoming mail as spam.

Fighting spam is also a more difficult problem than it used to be, AOL said, as professional spammers increasingly use tricks like deliberately misspelling words, swapping letters with numbers and adding spaces in the middle of words to fool spam filters.