Spam emails from China

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There has been a sudden surge of emails originating in China, purporting to be selling cheap electrical goods etc.,
These appear to be targeting eBay members, but most are not sent via the eBay message system, but instead are directed straight to the hotmail address.

Every day I delete between 1 and 2 dozen of such emails - fortunately the Windows Live version of Hotmail manages to screen out most of the offending mails, but earlier versions do not. Although I do not like the newer edition, it is at least safer. The risk with a high level filter for spam is that you will miss some genuine emails - but looking at the addresses in your junk mail folder will usually reveal which are genuine without opening them. Whatever else, NEVER open any attachments from any source unless you are 100% certain that it is genuine - even friends can be the subject of a virus attack sending out attachments of itself to people in their Outlook address book. Unless you are expecting something, always check via email or phone with the person who sent the attachment that it really was them who sent it.

Most of these emails can be recognized by odd subject headings, and by bizarre email addresses such as "cyjjxiopfg@" etc.,  I advise strongly against opening or reading them - some carry Trojan Horses or viruses which are particularly nasty. Whatever you do, do not reply to them. Even just telling them to leave you alone confirms that you have a live email address, and will result in even more spam.

Beware - many of these emails show eBay statistics for sales, feedback, powerseller status etc but these are all bogus. They sent out hundreds of thousands of these emails, relying on one or two per thousand to respond. There is a much higher hit rate for those that are passing on viruses. Making sure that you have a good and updated anti-virus system is important, but none of these is foolproof - the best protection is being very aware and cautious. A virus can cause irreparable damage to your PC and to those of your friends - you will not be very popular!
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