There seems to be a steady increase in spam and phishing at the moment.

Recently I've been receiving a steady increase in incoming queries about various "cash prize offers" from "Microsoft" (and other companies).

These e-mails typically arrive via e-mail, although we're also being contacted by people who have received letters in the post.

These e-mails typically come from "Company Awards Team" or something similar, and they ask you to (surprise, surprise) fill in your contact details (including your bank account number) send it back to them and then "you'll receive your prize".

Needless to say these e-mails and letters are not from Microsoft and you shouldn't disclose your personal details to an unsolicited request.

Here's an example of one such hoax.

Please do ensure that your computer software is up-to-date, that you have an anti-virus product and an anti-spyware product installed.

For more information visit this Microsoft Ireland site which provides some great tips and more information.

Remember if it seems to good to be true it probably is!

If you have received a similar e-mail or letter and would like to check it's validity you can contact me using the details on this blog.