Internet Scammers Broke into E-mail Account of Britain’s Justice Secretary

Jack Straw, Britain's Justice Secretary, was recently hit by the Nigerian 'advance-fee' scam in which fraudsters sent several hundred e-mails with his name signed asking for cash, as reported by BBC on February 24, 2009.

Sent on February 19, 2009, the e-mail stated that Mr. Straw was visiting Africa to participate in a project named 'Empowering Youth to Fight Racism' and was staying in Lagos, the capital of Nigeria.

Furthermore, the e-mail quoted Mr. Straw saying that while he was going to the hotel, he misplaced his wallet that contained several valuable things and his money. Therefore, he wished that the e-mail's recipient would lend him a small loan so that he could clear his hotel bills and pay the expenses for returning home, the message claimed.

The message further claimed that to return home, Mr. Straw required US$ 3,500. Meanwhile, it is learnt that about 200 e-mails with the subject line, "The Right Hon Jack Straw MP", had been sent to government chiefs, council bosses and others. One person answered the e-mail, but no one sent any money, according to reports.

In addition, it is assumed that the fraudsters hacked into the systems at the Blackburn, UK constituency office of Mr. Straw. Later, Microsoft officials suspended the Hotmail account.

Meanwhile, Mr. Straw started receiving calls from different constituents inquiring whether he was indeed in Nigeria and need money, said Mr. Straw, as reported by Telegraph on February 24, 2009.

Mr. Straw also expressed that the incident was an issue that the constituents needed to deal with rather than the government. He said that everything about the confidentiality of matters relating to constituents was checked and there was no clue that it was affected. He also commented that enormous work was carried out in the country under organized crime gangs.

Security investigators state that the fraudsters in the current scam employed similar tactics that had been recently used against hacked accounts of social networking websites. In that too, the scammer sent spam messages to all addresses on the victim's contact list requesting for funds giving a similar reason.

Related article: Internet Threat Volumes Overwhelm Security Companies

» SPAMfighter News - 10-03-2009

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