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The number of spam e-mails being received by UK broadband users has doubled in a year, it has been revealed.

According to figures from IronPort Systems there are currently 20 billion spam emails being sent in UK-registered addresses every day - making it the third-most targeted territory in the world.

Paul Doran of IronPort Systems attributed the rise in spam to the UK to the sheer number of surfers that live in the UK, coupled with the fact that their relative affluence, which makes them potentially rich pickings for scammers.

He told the Telegraph: "The UK represents not just a very large market - but also a very affluent market. This makes us a sweet spot for cyber criminals."

The only countries which receive more of the 120 billion spam messages worldwide sent every day are the US and China, IronPort's research shows.

The availability of personal data on social networking sites, such as MySpace and Facebook, has exacerbated the problem, analysts from IronPort said.

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