Even government victimized by fake emails

No one seems to be immune from the theft of their email address.

A spam message arrived Sunday bearing the return address of a Costa Rican government agency, the DirecciÛn Nacional de Desarrollo de la Comunidad.

Either a spammer accessed the government server or simply counterfeited the return address. Spammers also have been known to use fake addresses that say the messages come from A.M. Costa Rica.

The newspaper does not arrange marriages with Russian brides, provide solutions to hair loss, provide cheap air fares, sell pet insurance or do the many services these fake messages attribute to it.

A.M. Costa Rica staffers get thousands of spam emails each day, including some purportedly sent by someone at the newspaper. The fact that email messages are cheap leads some firms to advertise that way.

Their legitimate commercial messages mix with spams, trojans, worms and other types of malware. They create a serious public relations problem for email advertisers.

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