They come by the hundreds and thousands to your e-mail inboxes, advertising everything from credit cards to online dating services to free vacations. Spam mail is clogging people's accounts and driving them crazy.
It would seem there is little more a person can do, but a bill that just passed the Senate by a 97 to zero vote may change that. It would create a 'do not spam' list similar to the 'do-not-call' registry meant to deter telemarketers. Those who violate it could face heavy fines.
Just how effective that bill would be, is up for debate.
"The whole spamming industry is kind of a cat and mouse game between the ISP's, the customer and the spammers," said Datawave general manager Howard Tekler.
Tekler says the spammers are smart and would be able to find their way around the 'do-not-spam' lists, just as they have other attempts to prevent them from reaching consumers, and fining them would be complicated, because tracking down senders on the internet is difficult at best.
With or without the bill, there are options for avoiding spam filters are available on line and through your service provider, but the easiest approach may also be the simplest.
"The best thing to do is, if you don't know who sent it don't open it," said Tekler.
Tekler says the problem with spam is increasing. Eighteen months ago, his companies filters dealt with 25,000 junk emails a day. Today, that number has reached nearly one million.