Sophos reports 300% increase in Rolex watch spam

Sophos Press Release
Fake and replica luxury watches are increasingly being sold through spam email.
Fake and replica luxury watches are increasingly being sold through spam email.

Researchers at anti-spam specialist Sophos have reported a significant increase in the last week in the number of spam emails trading on the name of the luxury watch manufacturer Rolex. Examining all the spam seen in the last month, Sophos's global monitoring stations have recorded a 300% rise in the number of junk emails referencing Rolex.

"Spammers hawking cheap watches are the internet equivalent of Del Boy and Rodney, but few computer users who have to wade through a barrage of unsolicited emails every day will find their antics amusing," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "Spam continues to be a nice little earner for the spammers, because people continue to purchase goods sold via junk email. However good the offer may seem, the message is simple - never buy from a spam email."

According to media reports, Rolex has sent a 'cease and desist' notice to a website offering bogus Rolex watches, following concerns that its trademark is being infringed. Earlier this year, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer - the maker of Viagra - announced that it was taking legal action against dozens of illegitimate online pharmacies to block sales of counterfeit drugs and help reduce spam.

"It's not the first time that a big brand has been targeted, and it's unlikely to be the last, but it will be interesting to see what action Rolex takes to protect its name from the abuse of spammers," continued Cluley.

Sophos urges computer users not to purchase products advertised via spam, and to deploy a consolidated solution at the email gateway which can protect against both spam and viruses. Sophos has also published best practice advice for dealing with spam.

More than 100 million users in 150 countries rely on Sophos’ complete security solutions as the best protection against complex threats and data loss. Simple to deploy, manage, and use, Sophos’ award-winning encryption, endpoint security, web, email, mobile and network security solutions are backed by SophosLabs - a global network of threat intelligence centers. Sophos is headquartered in Oxford, U.K., and is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol “SOPH.” More information is available at www.sophos.com/company.