Friday, December 06, 2013 by Tom Landesman
Spammers are in a New York state of mind. The 917 area code was in the top 20 area codes that received the highest volume of spam this year. The volume of SMS spam peaked in September, with 917 hitting the 5th spot in the nation.
The area code, which encompasses all five boroughs, beat out other, more local area codes such as 212 and 646. A majority of SMS spam messages reported in New York City – 58 % – were from the 917 area code. The next most popular area code, receiving 17% of NYC’s SMS spam this year, was Manhattan’s 646.
Top Five SMS Spam Campaigns
To date the five most popular SMS spam campaigns targeting the New York City area are:
#1 Win free stuff
You were chosen to test the Iphone 6 and keep it before its released. Just enter your info at www.[REDACTED].com to get it now
#2 Payday loan spam
(Are the bills piling up?) We can help with a 1500 cash deposit today! bit.ly/[REDACTED] – Type Stop 2 Stop
#3 Adult content spam
Hey its jessica i just put pics on my profile here www.[REDACTED].com my username is jessicaxoxo1 u might have to make a free account to view them
#4 Bank account phishing
FRM:WellsFargoMs’ SUBJ:Restriction MSG:Your account has been restricted, please contact us at [REDACTED] !
#5 Job listing scams
She lives in your neighborhood and is making bank from home. See what shes doing at www.[REDACTED].com
Spammers Resist the Lure of Wall Street
Ironically, NYC, an international financial hub, has a lower percentage of bank / account phishing SMS than the national average this year. Only 8.9% of SMS spam targeting New York was in the form of phishing attempts, while the national average sits at 18.6%. June, however, was an exception to this pattern. A spike in phishing spam propelled 917 to the 10th most active area code in the nation for bank phishing during that month.
The majority of bank phishing spam – 72% of all this bank phishing went to the 917 area code, indicating spammers prefer to spread a wider net when contacting New Yorkers.
Win Free Stuff scams are the most popular form of SMS spam to date, accounting for 27% of everything sent to the area. Next up, payday loan offers contributed a sizable 20% with adult content themes trailing in third place with 20%.
The prevalence of these types of SMS caused the distribution of call-to-actions (CTAs) to vary significantly from the rest of the nation. Roughly 74% of SMS reported in the city pointed users to a provided URL to act on the corresponding offer or trick. In contrast, the national average is only about 55-65%.
During October, Manhattan saw a similar trend with 30% of its SMS spam coming in the form of payday loan offers. The outer boroughs, however, were vastly different. A majority of that area’s spam (55 %) was bank phishing. Those phishing messages destined for the boroughs attempted to mislead to consumers by falsely claiming to come from Wells Fargo and a specific mobile carrier.
Manhattan follows another national trend with an uptick in spam reports each Monday. The rest of New York City receives the bulk of its spam on Tuesdays and Thursday.
No matter what day of the week though, New Yorkers are fond of spamming themselves. More than 7% of all the spam sent to NYC came from their own area codes. In Manhattan, one in fourteen messages came from 646. Another 7% was sent from 347.
Overall, New York City still doesn’t receive as much as one would expect given that the city is home to millions. The city does break a lot of trends – from the amount of spam it receives to the types of spam. When it comes to spam, New York City breaks the mold.