updated 1/2/2004 6:08:50 PM ET 2004-01-02T23:08:50

What do Oprah Winfrey, mortgage rates and online pharmacies have in common? All were cited in the most commonly sent spam messages of 2003, says America Online.

AOL released the list Wednesday to tout its claim that it stopped a half-trillion pieces of spam from reaching its members in 2003, and to encourage users to set their spam filters to reject messages with certain words in the header.

"The spam fight roared louder than ever this year," AOL spokesman Nicholas Graham said.

AOL said its list of the most common spam subjects was neither scientifically assembled nor ranked by volume. Graham also pointed out that spammers often attempt to evade filters by using asterisks, spaces or numbers to slightly obscure the words in the message subject lines.

Those caveats aside, here's what AOL says are the 10 most common spam topics:

  • Viagra and other drugs, like Xanax, Valium and Celebrex
  • Online pharmacy
  • Get out of debt
  • Sexual enhancement
  • Online degree or diploma
  • Low mortgage rates
  • Low insurance rates
  • Work from home/be your own boss
  • "Hot XXX action" and lots of porn variants
  • "As seen on Oprah"

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Data: Latest rates in the US

Home equity rates View rates in your area
Home equity type Today +/- Chart
$30K HELOC FICO 4.73%
$30K home equity loan FICO 5.26%
$75K home equity loan FICO 4.70%
Credit card rates View more rates
Card type Today +/- Last Week
Low Interest Cards 13.42%
13.42%
Cash Back Cards 17.94%
17.94%
Rewards Cards 17.14%
17.14%
Source: Bankrate.com