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Did you check your spam folder lately? It’s like walking into a giant shopping mall where everyone wants you to buy products, hire services, or marry a Nigerian prince. Thousands upon thousands of emails. Spam.
We’ve compiled 20 spam statistics to show just how big this phenomenon has become over the years.
SPAM Statistics 2023 – Key Findings
- The most common technique for spam campaigns, according to Symantec, is Snowshoe – using multiple IPs and domains for spam campaigns to avoid detection.
- Nearly 56.5% of all emails were spam in 2022.
- Email spam costs businesses $20.5 billion every year.
- Scams and fraud comprise only 2.5% of all spam emails; however, phishing statistics indicate that identity theft makes up 73%.
- The most common type of spam is marketing/advertising emails which account for nearly 36% of all spam emails.
- The United States of America is at the top sending around 8.61 billion spam emails.
- As many as 85% of all organizations were targeted by phishing scams in 2021.
- Microsoft accounts are the most popular target of phishing emails, accounting for 43% of all phishing attempts.
SPAM Statistics 2023
There are hundreds of unwanted messages in our email folders advertising one thing or the other and taking up much-needed space, 90% of which are malicious and can cause harm if opened.
These spam statistics will expose you to the damages they can cause to individuals and businesses.
1. The average number of legitimate email messages sent online daily is 347.3 billion as of 2023.
Spam messages are clogging the internet; that much is sure. For a sense of scale, let’s pause to appreciate the number of legitimate emails that reach their daily destinations. While this figure varies from day to day and month to month, global email traffic remains one of the busiest communication channels in the world.
According to email statistics, 347.3 billion legitimate emails are sent and received daily. This is a 4.3% increase from 2021, when the number of emails sent and received daily was 333.3 billion.
2. Nearly 56.5% of all emails were spam in 2022.
(The Small Business Blog)
That translates into an average daily volume of 122.33 billion messages globally. Daily spam messages oscillate regularly, and the latest traffic statistics show it’s declining. The total spam volume worldwide was highest in July 2021, when 283 billion out of 336 billion emails were spam.
Research shows that about 56.5% of all emails are spam, ranging from useless advertisements and scams to adult content.
3. Advertising makes up 36% of all world spam content.
The most common spam emails are advertising messages. Want to buy new clothes? How about some aftershave? Sometimes, these commercials have a purpose, and many get to your inbox with or without spam testing. Sometimes their presence can be interpreted as disrespectful and annoying. However, people generally don’t like to see their email databases swarmed by hundreds of email messages advertising elixirs of youth and restaurant chains.
4. Adult-related content is the second-biggest spam category, accounting for roughly 31.7% of all spam messages.
The internet is swarming with adult content, and all phishing stats agree that is where most of its malware lurks. This is dangerous spam in its purest form. According to statistics, dating site spam is relentless and profitable for spammers.
5. 26.5% of all unwanted emails are related to financial matters, the third-biggest spam email category.
Financial news, software commercials, and services take third place among the top spammers in the world. The category comprises over a quarter of all spam, so look for bogus financial messages.
6. For every 12,500,000 emails sent, spammers receive one reply.
And that’s one too many. The logic behind every email spammer’s operation is to flood the web with countless emails. Why not? The cost of spam is zero. One response makes the whole campaign worthwhile.
7. Scams and fraud account for about 2.5% of all spam emails. Phishing statistics indicate that identity theft is the goal of 73% of those.
Most spam traffic isn’t a fraud. It’s primarily ads and promotions for stuff you once looked up when you were bored or clicked on accidentally while shopping for something else.
Identity theft is the most common trick in the book and a costly one. Learn to distinguish between a benign commercial and bait to lure you into a trap.
8. Spam email sites earn senders around $7,000 per day.
Bulk-mailing spam is a job for specialists – third-party companies that send emails on behalf of the product or service that is being advertised. The sender gets paid simply for sending messages, regardless of whether recipients buy advertised products.
Although spam email spenders only get one response, they earn over $7,000 daily for every 12,500,000 emails sent, making it a lucrative venture which will be around for a while.
9. Email spam costs businesses a whopping $20.5 billion every year.
(Radicati Group, Zippia)
This eye-catching figure includes decreased productivity and the technical expenses companies incur from spam. According to Nucleus Research, the average loss per employee was about $1,934 per year.
Spam statistics like this one show how vast the global spam operation is. If it continues to grow at this rate, estimates suggest that damage might rise to a staggering $257 billion within a few years.
10. More spam emails originate from the United States than any other country.
Talos Intelligence maintains a list of originating URLs and internet addresses that belong to scammers. The list helps internet service providers block spam before it gets to users. American spammers generate 8.6 billion messages monthly, while Chinese spammers send out 8.2 billion spam emails.
Some of the worst spam sites emanate from China, where hackers cracked some of the most prolific spambots in the world.
11. The United States is home to 7 of the world’s top 10 spammers.
Below is a list of the most persistent spam companies in the world:
- Blaze Media Solutions
- Sphere Digital
- RR Media
- Cyber World Internet Services
- Kobeni Solutions
They are all based in the United States and are responsible for distributing tens of millions of spam emails daily.
12. The number one spam operation is based in Ukraine.
A fake company called Canadian Pharmacy is probably the largest spam mail operation in the world – and one of the longest-running as well. Established around 2009, the company uses botnet techniques to spam the world, sending millions of ads for counterfeit pharmaceuticals daily. Although the headquarters remains a mystery, it is most likely in Ukraine.
13. The same 100 spam gangs send 80% of all spam in North America and Europe.
The spam industry is essentially unregulated. As Marx could have predicted, power is concentrated in relatively few hands as the market marches toward monopoly. According to internet spam statistics, there are approximately 100 gangs that run the business in Europe and North America. These gangs employ 200 to 300 individuals, responsible for most of the world’s spam email distribution.
14. As many as 85% of all organizations were targeted by phishing scams in 2021.
(Proofpoint, Symantec, Kratikal)
Scams and fraud make up only 2.5% of all spam emails. However, identity theft is the goal of 73% of those emails. And only 3% of those emails are reported to the management. One of the leading cybersecurity companies in the world, Symantec, is warning that these rates are rising fast.
Despite growing awareness that spam is a serious and costly business issue, many companies report falling victim to recent phishing attacks. Businesses must protect themselves against malware, spam, and known phishing lures.
15. Microsoft accounts are the most popular target of phishing emails, accounting for 43% of all phishing attempts.
There is a lingering myth about hackers preferring to target the rich and famous, leaving the rest of us safe from harm. But the stats tell a different story. According to a recent Apple email phishing report, nearly half of all phishing scams are designed to target Microsoft Outlook passwords. Spam scams are also directed toward acquiring LinkedIn (6%) and Amazon credentials (5%).
16. Financial Institutions (23%), Saas/Webmail (17%), and Social media (11%) ranked high on the list of popular email phishing targets in 2022.
Spam trends reveal that spammers are interested in any password they can access. With more people ordering goods online, spam emails are now impersonating shipping companies. Surprisingly, the number of PayPal phishing attempts dropped significantly. Previously, every tenth spam message involved this payment processor, and now only 2% of the spammers try to impersonate it.
Fortune 500 companies like Chase are also popular with scammers. The company’s logo has been misused in many malware-laden and malicious spam emails.
Financial Institutions (23%), Saas/Webmail (17%), and Social Media (11%) ranked high on the list of popular email phishing targets in 2022.
17. Fake invoice incidents more than doubled in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Many standard spam emails use fake invoices to trick victims into providing data. Avast reported an increase in refund and invoice fraud from 14% to 22% between October and November 2022.
This suggests that businesses are particularly vulnerable and lucrative targets. In a recent Microsoft survey, 62% of security professionals reported that phishing campaigns are the biggest security threat.
18. As many as 6% of spam scams use fax machines.
Spam or phishing scams come in many forms. Fax machine phishing scams work on the same principle as emailed phishing attacks. While this mode of defrauding companies has existed since the heyday of fax machines in the 1990s, it remains present, with many successful cases.
19. More than 99% of attacks require human interaction to succeed, resulting in malware installation, wire fraud, unwitting data disclosures, and more.
(Help Net Security, Proofpoint)
As any anti-phisher website will tell you, it takes two to tango. Although scam emails are designed to trick you into cooperating, you are responsible for recognizing their intent. Think twice when enabling a macro, opening a file, following a link, or opening a document. Your caution could save you and your company a boatload of inconvenience and cost.
20. List of 10 worst spam countries as of 2023.
These are the world’s worst Spam Haven countries for enabling spamming as of April 2023.
|Country||Number of Current Live Spam Issues|
It’s easy to get added to a spamming list, as people tend to leave their addresses on various sign-up services, newsletters, etc.
While most spam is just annoying and time-consuming, about 2.5% of it can do some severe damage. The worst spam emails trick you into disclosing bank details, allowing scammers to withdraw money or steal your identity. They use urgent wording to convince you to open them.
If you receive an email that looks suspicious or you don’t recognize the sender, you should mark it as spam or, better yet: DELETE IT.