1632 — 1 in 5 British Consumers Buy Software from Spam

Jan 4, 2005 | Conteúdos Em Ingles

Over 90% of UK online consumers receive spam and although only 23% of it is read, more than one in five British consumers (22%) has purchased software through spam, a study by Forrester research on behalf of the Business Software Alliance (BSA) has shown.

The six country, 6,000 respondent survey that asked users about their attitudes towards unsolicited emails revealed that 37% of people are concerned that spammers will steal personal information and 40% of people feel that spam is harmful to overall online security.

Mike Newton, BSA spokesperson said, “Many online consumers don’t consider the true motives of spammers. In addition to profiting from selling goods and services and driving click through ad traffic, organised crime rings use spam to gain access to personal information. By selling software that appears to be legitimate in genuine looking packaging or through sophisticated websites, spammers are hiding spyware without consumers’ knowledge. Once the software is installed on PCs and networks, information that is given over the internet can be obtained and abused. With €13 billion1 in European online sales predicted during the holiday season alone, it is important for consumers to stay alertWilliam Plante, senior director of corporate security and fraud protection for Symantec, comments, “Both industry and the media have helped to raise awareness of the issues that surround illegitimate email, helping to reduce the potential financial damage and nuisance from phishing attacks and spoof websites. At the same time, consumers need to continue exercising caution and protect themselves from harm with a mixture of spam filters, spyware detection software and sound judgement

Counterfeit goods don’t satisfy UK consumers
Another survey on behalf of the BSAYouGov found that 75% of Brits that purchased counterfeit goods are now deterred from buying fakes in the future because they have had bad experiences.

Copyright infringement is not a victimless crime
In July, IDC found that one in three (29%) of software used in the UK is pirated at a cost to UK software publishers of over 800 million pounds.

Siobhan Carroll Regional Manager Northern Europe, BSA said, ‘The YouGov survey we completed found that 81% of UK shoppers think it’s totally unacceptable to shoplift from a major supermarket but only 33% feel the same way about downloading counterfeit software from the internet. People must understand that downloading software or purchasing counterfeit packaged software is breaking the law

Consumers Top Three Concerns When Buying Software From Spam

Percentage of consumers that have made purchases from spam


Percentage of consumers that have made purchases from spam


Percentage of online consumers that have purchased items from spam broken down by country and item purchased

BSA offer the following tips to help consumers and businesses recognise software spam scams:

1.Recognize spam! Indicators that an email is spam include senders whose name you don’t recognize, typos and misspellings in the subject line, and prices too good to be true.

2.Use a spam filter. Options can be found via a simple web search. Or, if you receive commercial spam at your work email address, ask the person in charge of computer systems what filtering options are available or in use.

3.Don’t reply. Even if the spam email instructs you to reply if you want to “unsubscribe,” it could be a trap. You may only verify that your address is active.

4.Don’t post. Avoid posting your email address on public sites where spammers can find it.

5.Check out the dealer. If the online dealer seeking to sell you software isn’t listed on that software manufacturer’s website, then beware.

6.Do your homework. Look for a feedback section on the site and look for comments on the seller based on previous transactions.

7.Get the seller’s address. If you can’t find a physical address, then be suspicious.

8.Keep receipts. Print a copy of your order number and sales confirmation, and keep them.

9.Steer clear of compilations and back-ups. Compilations of software titles from different manufacturers, or “backup” copies, are a clear indication that the software is not legitimate.

10.Report piracy. Buyers suspecting counterfeit software and and/or fraud should contact BSA at www.bsa.org/uk/report



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