Spam researchers at SophosLabs™, Sophos's global network of
virus and spam analysis centres, are warning computer users to be
wary of a new email scam, which dupes innocent people into
believing they are the beneficiaries of the late Sir Denis
Thatcher's last will and testament, in order to steal their
identity and make a profit.
The email, which claims to come from the attorneys of former UK
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's late husband, claims that the
recipient will receive £950,000 in compensation for work they have
done helping the less privileged. The email claims that Sir Denis
Thatcher collected the money during his long and successful career
In order to obtain the inheritance, recipients are asked to
provide personal information such as documents of identification,
address, telephone and fax numbers, in accordance with the British
government's inheritance law.
However, the emails are fake; and users who innocently send
their personal details may have their identity stolen, together
with money taken from their bank accounts.
"Scammers are constantly trying to dupe computer users into
divulging sensitive information with the promise of big money,"
Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "Using the
late Sir Denis Thatcher's name is a sick trick designed to entice
the unwary into falling for the scam."
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
where 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 spacestation.
Sophos recommends companies protect themselves with a consolidated solution which can defend businesses
from the threats of both spam and viruses; and that users do not
open or reply to unsolicited emails.
Read a copy of the
latest 419 scam which references Sir Denis Thatcher.
Sophos is headquartered in Boston, US and Oxford, UK. More information is available at www.sophos.com.