"requests for our lord" pleas fox e-mail filters.
Some are even turning to prose and poetry to fool the technological safeguards people put in place.
But a group of researchers at Microsoft think they may have come up with a solution that could, at least, slow down and deter the spammers.
The development has been called the Penny Black project, because it works on the idea that revolutionised the British postage system in the 1830s -
that senders of mail should have to pay for it, not whoever is on the receiving end.