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Mumbai Student Falls Prey to Spammers

Various tactics are being adopted by spammers to extort money from people. In some cases, they just ask for private information of people, while in some, they simply ask for money.

Recently, Samiksha Sharma, an Indian postgraduate student from Mumbai, became the target of spammers after they illegitimately accessed the e-mail account of her friend and sent a fraudulent e-mail to her.

According to reports, she got a junk e-mail soliciting her to transfer a particular sum overseas. As per Sharma, since the message had originated from the account of one of her acquaintances, it seemed authentic.

The message stated that her acquaintance's friend Varun who was stranded in London require 1,200 pounds (Rs 85,000) to be sent at a UK address since his purse and papers were lost, as reported by The Times of India on January 07, 2008. The message scared her, prompting her to call up Varun, just to learn that he was very much in Mumbai and not London.

Security researchers said that in this particular case, it was not difficult to detect phony e-mails and disregard them. However, the girl wasn't ready for the spam message she got recently.

The researchers maintained that Sharma was one of many victims of the recent spam fraud. spammers unlawfully access e-mail accounts and send junk mails at all addresses in the contact list.

In a similar incident, Al-Naseer Zakaria, an entrepreneur from Mumbai, contacted the cyber crime cell of Mumbai police soon after his friends received an e-mail from his Hotmail account asking them to transfer £1,800 to him as he was stuck overseas. Upon responding, a relative was requested to send money to a British address.

The reports further stated that Zakaria had got a message previously also bearing Microsoft symbol requesting his userID and password, and he obeyed. But a Microsoft representative maintained the firm never demands a user's login password and that a nasty person was impersonating the firm.

The security analysts urged users to uphold the security of private data. They asked users to have two separate e-mail accounts with distinct and long passwords -- one for private use and the other for official use.

Related article: Mumbai Police To Become Cyber Cops

» SPAMfighter News - 1/13/2009

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