The eBay email fraud campaign, which took place in May this year, and aimed to get users of the online auction site to disclose their bank details has been named this year's scariest email blunder by Proofpoint.

eBay users received an official looking message that warned "inactive customers" may have their Pay Pal accounts deleted and asked recipients to confirm their details, including their credit card number, expiry date and PIN.

The Conficker virus which knocked out the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force's email in January came second, while the scam emails that attempted to lure recipients into divulging their personal information to receive a tax refund was listed as the third scariest email issue this year.

Other that made the list included a judge ordering a Gmail account to be deactivated, 10,000 Hotmail passwords being leaked and Jack Straw's email account being hacked.

Keith Crosley, director of market development at the email security firm, says: "These demonstrate the ongoing need for user training, for corporate email policies and for technology to enforce corporate policies".

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