Computer users were today warned of a sick 419 email scam that aims to dupe innocent people into passing on their bank details by promising them a millions from the estate of a victim of the recent terrorist bombings in London.
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.
A section of the scam email reads as follows:
"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
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.
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