We all receive spam emails; however, the number of spam emails received every day has increased shockingly since 2020 and continues to rise in 2021.
Cyber criminals sent out around 320 billion spam emails every day in 2020, which dropped to 122 billion in January 2021 — accounting for 85% of all emails. RiskIQ estimates that financial organizations worldwide lose $17,700 per minute due to phishing attacks, of which 96% were delivered by email.
With time, spam emails have become more intelligent, and the risks of you becoming a victim to them have increased significantly. What is the current spam email statistics in 2021? Why has it increased substantially over the last few years? How risky is increased email spam? Let’s discuss.
Spam Emails Statistics in 2021
85% of all emails are spam (yep, you read that right!)
Around 145 billion email messages are sent over the internet each day, among which 122 billion are spam. The spam email number frequently fluctuates, with recent numbers showing a decline in daily average with higher effectiveness.
Identity theft is the aim of 73% of spam
Spam messages include Spyware targeted to obtain sensitive information of the recipient, primarily used for identity theft. Scams and frauds make up 2.5% of all email spam.
Spam emails earn the senders $7,000 a day
Spam email sites earn money in two main ways – by selling email lists to senders and sending marketing emails. The payment is usually based on the number of emails sent. Spam gang members earn about $7,000 a day or $3.5 million a year from email spam.
Email spam costs businesses $20.5 billion annually
In 2005, the worldwide cost of spam was estimated at $50 billion. The annual loss dropped to $20.5 billion in 2012. According to research, the average loss per employee stood at approximately $1,934 per year.
100 spam gangs control 80% of all email spams
Even though the spam industry is heavily unregulated, internet spam statistics say that 100 gangs dominate the business in North America and Europe. Russia and Germany are the top sources of spam emails.
In business organisations, on average, each employee receives 14 phishing emails daily
Businesses are the most vulnerable and biggest target for spammers. Spammers usually target employees to gain access to the organization’s IT infrastructure. The attack on employees is likely to be increased by the fourth quarter of 2021.
Phishing scams targeted 85% of all organizations in 2020
Phishing scams, most of which is propagated through email, targets mainly business organizations. Due to many exposed vulnerabilities, most related to a lack of awareness in employees, business organizations fail to protect themselves against malware, spam, and fraud.
45% of employees reported clicking on spam emails
Phishing attacks through emails have come a long way since the Nigerian prince scheme. They have become more intelligent and less suspicious as 76% of emails don’t contain attachments, making them seem free of threat, increasing the number of clicks on spam emails.
Ten companies are impersonated in 86% of phishing attacks
In the last quarter of 2020, the following brands were the most impersonated in phishing attacks:
- Microsoft (43%)
- DHL (18%)
- LinkedIn (6%)
- Amazon (5%)
- Rakuten (4%)
- IKEA (3%)
- Google (2%)
- PayPal (2%)
- Chase (2%)
- Yahoo (1%)
- Fake invoice occurrences increased more than two times in 2020
Fake invoices to trick the recipients into providing private data spiked in Q1 2020 and Q2 2020, according to statistics published by Tessian. The number of occurrences involving payment and invoice fraud increased by 112% at the beginning of the pandemic. It also suggests that businesses are, in particular most lucrative targets for spam attacks.
Why Am I Suddenly Getting a Lot of Spam Emails?
Spammers usually buy email addresses in bulk from third-party service providers. If you observe a noticeable increase in your spam box, then chances are your email address is part of a list recently sold to one or multiple scammers. There are many ways how your email address can end up in a spam list, including sharing your email address in public, signing up on sketchy websites run by attackers, or entering your email in a field used by scammers to harvest email addresses. As people are getting more and more reliant on online services, the chances of exposing your email address have also become higher.
Another impactful factor in the rising number of email attacks is remote working. Since starting to work remotely, employees have been relying much heavily on emails for corporate communication. Scammers have started to use this opportunity to pretend to be someone from the company to spam them. As employees are receiving a large quantity of emails every day, it is easier for them to ignore adequate safety measures and fall into the trap laid by attackers.
How Can You Reduce Spam Emails?
As mentioned previously, spammers get access to your email address from other parties when it is already exposed on the internet. The first step to reducing email spam is to find out whether your email address is revealed anywhere on the web and take appropriate action to remove it. Finding out the current exposure of your email address is simple.
Go to Sniff Email, an online platform dedicated to unearthing if your email address exists on the internet. Enter your email address in the search field and click fetch to find out if your email address exists on the internet within a few seconds. Depending on the results, you can then proceed to take appropriate actions to reduce spam emails.