Mitt Romney a favorite for spammers

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By Jim Carr By Jim Carr

PHOENIX -- Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is leading the race to become the party's nominee and apparently he's just as popular among spammers.

An analysis of 8 million email messages by a computer security company, BitDefender, showed Romney's name in 45 percent of politically themed spam last month.

One example appears to be a news report from Reuters explaining what Romney needs to do to win the nomination. But, the article is gramatically incorrect and includes an advertisement for low-interest loans.

Newt Gingrich showed up in 33 percent of the spam last month, according to BitDefender, followed by Ron Paul, Bill Clinton and Rick Santorum.

Most of the messages are tricks that reel you in and hope you click on links for loan offers, ways to get a free credit score and offers to reduce your energy bill.

Spammers get paid every time you click on their links.

While harmless if left alone, once you click the link, Ken Moskowitz with Data Doctors said it can lead you to a product's website, but it can also allow spammers to spy on your personal information.

“If they happen to be delivering malware to you, if people are really engaged in politics and politics as you know are very polarizing, you know, if that's your guy, you're going to click on it because you want to see it,” he said. “They're hoping that you're going to take the bait. Don't be dumb fish. Let the hook go.”

To keep spam from becoming a real issue for you, Moskowitz recommends you delete the message and definitely don't click on links you don't know. Also, only use websites you're familiar with to research the candidates.