Spammers must send out around 12.5 million unsolicited e-mail messages before someone takes the bait and responds, according to research by the University of California, Berkeley.
David Reid finds out that despite many inboxes filling up with bulk messages, the profit margins of malicious spammers are rather vulnerable.
Any threat to their operation can erode away their profits, with 350 million junk e-mails a month earning just over $100 (£68) a day for those behind them.
"Fight for rights"
Microsoft is co-ordinating the latest attack on spammers by bringing together a coalition of companies, including Western Union and the African Development Bank, to fight lottery scams.
"Lottery scams in particular are e-mails or spam e-mails that tell you that you've won the lottery, and here's this huge amount of money and all you need to do is to pay these taxes up front or something like that in order to get your winnings," said Tim Cranton, the associate general counsel for Microsoft.