Thousands of people across the UK are being inundated with spam during a surge in poison links pouring into email accounts.

Chris Pallett, the chairman of the Chartered Institute of IT in Shropshire who runs Bespoke Computing Ltd in Telford, today said the spam is caused by a virus which accesses accounts and sends email to all contacts.

He said: “Email messages can originate from anywhere and from anyone, I could send an email pretending to be someone else you know and if I wrote in the same ‘style’ as them then you would never know the difference.

“Filtering email is not difficult and it doesn’t have to be expensive. We run a Cloud based email filtering service that costs from £1 per month and in the last year has blocked more than 22 million dodgy emails.

“Criminals and fraudsters are looking for new ways to exploit you for money. Free toolbars and screensavers often contain malware. Some websites are comprised with scareware, pop-up windows telling you that your computer has errors or viruses.”

Rhea Alton, of Journalism and PR based in Roden, near Shrewsbury, said: “An old email account began sending spam to all of the contacts in the address book, people began emailing and ringing to let me know they were receiving two or three spam messages.

“Luckily for me it was an old account so I have been able to cancel it but a client I was speaking to says his has done the same but it is an account he uses on a regular basis.”

Spotify recently apologised to users after an advertisement containing a virus was displayed to some users of the music-streaming service.

The advertisement, which appeared within Spotify’s Windows desktop software, did not need to be clicked on in order to infect a user’s machine.

The exploit would install a bogus ‘Windows Recovery’ anti-virus program.

“Users with anti-virus software will have been protected,” Spotify said in a statement.

“Downloading a free antivirus just doesn’t step up to the mark anymore, you need more substantial threat management,” added Mr Pallett.

“Unified Threat Management is a term used to describe solutions that provide more comprehensive security. It combines security functions into a single appliance, functions like: firewalling, intrusion prevention, anti-virus, anti-spam, application filtering, content filtering, and traffic shaping.

“These devices are very inexpensive and very scalable, costing as little as one or two pounds per computer in some scenarios.”

For more information contact Bespoke Computing on 0845 004 3025 or visit www.bespokecomputing.com