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More 419 email scams appearing

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August 2, 2005

Internet users and computer workers today have been warned of a '419 email scam' that targets innocent people into passing on their bank account details by promising them millions of dollars from the estate of a London terrorist bombings victim that happened on 7/7.

The email, which claims to come from the executive director of a London bank, claims that the recipient has been identified as Giles Hart's next of kin, and will receive the sum of £6.9m allegedly left in his bank account. Hart, a 55-year-old worker for BT, died in a bomb blast onboard a bus at Tavistock Square in London on 7 July 2005.

The scam email urges recipients to respond quickly with their bank account details, so the money can be transferred. However, Sophos warns computer users that this is a ruse to steal personal details.

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A section of the scam email reads as follows: "I am (details removed) It is just brought to my notice that our client Mr.GILES HART a British Telecom worker,55 years who was involved in the bumb blast which took place in North London who died during the terrorist attack which was a hearth breaking event.

"The bank auditor who found out that he left the sum of 9.8 million Euro in his domiciliary account. After various enquiring i found out that he you are the next of Kin being what was seen in the banking deposit certificate.

"I am just written to you from my desk now and i request you make a quick decision if you want to come for change of ownership or if you have an existing account were you want this funds to be transfered to please call me on this line (contact details removed)".

The email also links to online news reports concerning Hart's death in an attempt to give the scam more credibility.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, said: "Everyone should be wary of emails which claim that an unexpected inheritance has appeared out of the blue, as it's a common trick used by fraudsters to steal money and bank account information."

This email con-trick is the latest of many 419 scams. These scams are named after the relevant section of the Nigerian penal code, where many of the scams originated, and are unsolicited emails whereby the author offers a large amount of money. Once a victim has been drawn in, requests are made from the fraudster for private information which may lead to requests for money, stolen identities, and financial theft.

Other examples of 419 email scams include a message claiming to come from a persecuted widow of the late Nigerian head of state, an associate of the massacred Nepalese royal family, and even an African astronaut stranded on the Mir space station.

Source: Vnunet


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