Penis Patch the Top Spam in 2005

Ads mentioning real estate tycoon Donald Trump and those hawking "Penis Patch" body enhancements were among the top 10 junk e-mails in

2005, according to America Online.

Noticeably absent? Porn.

"Porn is passe when it comes to spam," Nicholas Graham, an AOL spokesman said, "people find it boring."

Sexually suggestive e-mails took another tumble this year after slipping in popularity last year, although web sites devoted to sex increased, about half of the total web sites in 2005 dealt with sex, including pictures, etc.

More than a half-trillion junk e-mails, known as spam, were blocked by AOL filters, slightly above 2004 levels, the company said. The number of junk e-mails reported by AOL's 26 million members worldwide has declined about 75 percent since 2003.

E-mails using more sophisticated tactics that attempt to deceive recipients by purporting to be from a friend or a legitimate agency or bear subject lines such as "Your Mortgage Application is Ready" are also beginning to replace blatant product promotions, AOL said.

Spammers "are (employing) 'back alley' tactics, and they are doing it with a specialized team that's working overtime to hide the source of their spam by employing zombie PC's, bot-nets and using other nefarious tactics," Charles Stiles, AOL's postmaster, said in a statement.

In 2005, AOL blocked an average of 1.5 billion spams per day. Approxi- mately 8.5 in 10 e-mails received at its gateway were blocked as junk.

AOL is a division of media conglomerate Time Warner Inc.

Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.

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