Two Malaysians Lost RM50,000 in Lottery E-mail Scam
In Malaysia, two individuals who replied to a phishing e-mail promising a huge sum of money in a mega jackpot win have lost over RM50,000 (US$14,158).
The victims received the e-mail, apparently from a British company named 'International Lotto UK,' informing them that they had won a lottery prize and to claim it they must send processing fee. The incident, however, has been notified to the British authorities.
Sources said that the first victim, an executive of a private company aged around 30 and resident of Johor (Malaysia), got an e-mail saying that she was the winner of a £500,000 mega jackpot. The woman was asked for a processing fee of over RM40,000 that she could deposit in installments. This fee, claimed the e-mail, would include insurance needed for wiring the money as well as for meeting diplomatic clearances.
It is further learnt that the company executive realized that she had been trapped in a scam when she cut off contact with the e-mail sender. In the meantime, she had paid RM40,000 through telegraphic transfer.
The second victim, a government company's assistant director aged around 40, was defrauded of over RM13,000 in a similar kind of scam a few weeks ago. Sources reported that the man realized that it was a scam when syndicate associates repeatedly solicited him for additional money to process the claim.
However, police have identified and arrested a woman in Kuala Lumpur. The culprit, aged 28, has an account with a bank that she opened in another person's name. Police are still hunting for the other offenders in the gang.
Besides, verification with the British High Commission revealed that scams of this type had been occurring for long. The High Commission also indicated that it had received reports of the latest lottery scam from several Malaysian as well as British citizens.
Although Malaysia's ranking among the APJ countries for hosting spam and phishing websites, and bot-infected computers declined during 2008, users are still advised caution against phishing scams and suspicious e-mails, according to Symantec.
Related article: THE SPAM MAFIA
» SPAMfighter News - 30-05-2009