Spammers are taking advantage of the Ashley Madison hack, IT security company Symantec says.

The company's researchers have observed a surge in spam activity since the breach, with attackers attempting to prey on victims and their partners.

Symantec said it had blocked thousands of spam emails with domains related to Ashley Madison. Subject lines enticing people to click include:

• "Ashley Madison Hack Should Scare You"
• "How to Check if You Were Exposed in Ashley Madison Hack"
• "Ashley Madison hacked, is your spouse cheating?"

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Symantec urged Kiwi consumers to be vary of any email purporting to relate to the breach and exercise caution with websites offering to check if someone's details are included in the breach.

They should never pay anyone offering to remove personal details from the leaked data because it can't be done.

Free tools, such as Norton Safe Web, allow internet users to check a website's reputation and find out if it has been flagged by others as unsafe.