|Scammers are sending emails exploiting the name
of a victim of the London terror bombings.
Spam researchers at SophosLabs™, Sophos's global network of
virus, spyware and spam analysis centers, are warning computer
users to be wary of a new email scam, which dupes innocent people
into believing they are in line to receive millions from the estate
of a victim of the recent bombings in London, in order to steal
their identity and make a profit. The scam has been spammed out
widely across the internet.
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 9.8 million Euros
(approximately US $12,000,000) allegedly left in his bank account.
Mr Hart, a 55-year-old worker for BT, died in a bomb blast onboard
a bus at Tavistock Square, 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, and that the fraudsters behind the scam campaign can use
such information to steal money from bank accounts and commit
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
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
The email also links to news reports on the web concerning Mr
Hart's death in an attempt to give the scam more credibility.
"Mr Hart was a genuine victim of the terrible bombings in
London. Sick criminals are deliberately using his name in an
attempt to steal from others, without a thought for Mr Hart's
grieving family," said Graham Cluley, senior
technology consultant for Sophos. "Everyone should be wary of
emails which claim that an unexpected inheritance has appeared out
of the blue, as it is 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
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.