From Ars Technica: "12 percent of e-mail users have actually tried to buy stuff from spam."
Italics preserved to convey the shock of the authors. Details from the survey about America's junk mail habits, after the jump.
The Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG, oh, yes) compiled 800 interviews by phone an Internet across the U.S. The good news, MAAWG reports, is that 48 percent of respondents said they'd never opened one of those pitches to make a gajillion dollars from home or buy a new spouse from a former Soviet republic.
The bad news is that 13 percent of the people couldn't come up with a reason for why they clicked on the messages.
And then there's the crowd of folks who just can't stop sticking paper clips into electric sockets. Six percent of respondents, MAAWG says, "wanted to see what would happen."
What happens is you feed the spammers just enough to keep them coming. From MAAWG, via Ars Technica:
"Although a small percentage of the computing population, these numbers still earn a significant enough return on investment to support a booming spam-driven underground economy."