Iraq Dragged Into The Infamous 419 Scam
by Kaspersky Lab News Agent - Monday, 7 April 2003
Scammers are not just persistent and shameless, but they are opportunistic as well, therefore it is only logical that they would now try to profit from the plight of Iraqis caught in a war. Many people know the 419 Scam (named after the Section Number of Nigerian criminal law that applies to it) as simply the "Nigerian Scam". The ruse appears in many variations but the basic premise remains constant; con artists mass email a letter in which they hope to dupe the gullible into divulging personal financial information that will enable the tricksters to withdraw all the funds. Often advance fees of one type or another are involved as well. Why would someone be so stupid as to actually send a stranger from Nigeria or anywhere else his or her sensitive personal financial data? Money, of course! The scam typically describes a situation where a huge (usually many millions of dollars) inheritance is bottled-up due to the red tape and political misfortunes of the country and in order to get this money out of the country, the suffering, down on his luck, would-be rich Nigerian needs a reliable partner to help him launder the money. The recipient of this message is invariably told he or she had been personally recommended as an upstanding, reliable and successful person or was found in a list of successful business people Blah Blah Blah and for this reason was the one chosen by the sender for help. It must be mentioned that strict confidentiality is always a must! Not to forget the need for urgent speed! For helping to launder the money the scammer promises to share a large percentage (often around 30%) of the millions in question. How generous! You can guess the rest. Having run the Nigerian 419 scam ragged, scammers turned to other locations such as South Africa, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe etc. and subsequently burned their credibility as well. Now, in the latest effort to pump new life into a dying scam, fraudsters have found a new place du jour, Iraq. This time an Iraqi landowner, named Farouk Al- Bashar wants to get his family's fortune out of Baghdad for fear of losing it in a bombing raid. Instead of assisting Mr. Al-Bashar, recipients of this pathetic scam should either just delete it or forward the mail to the sender's ISP. Most major ISPs have an abuse@ email address for such events. Though the attitude of the ISP can very greatly. Another, and perhaps most effective solution that will deal not just with this moronic scam but others like it, is to block such scam spam with an anti-spam software solution.