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Indian Doctor Falls Victim to Online E-mail Scam

Crime Branch officials in Mumbai (India) have alerted that cyber criminals have been targeting doctors and high profile businessmen with online scam for last two months (May - June 2009).

Giving an example of a new victim, officials said that Dr Yusuf Matcheswalla, working as a psychiatrist and consultant at JJ and Masina hospitals, fell to the scam after criminals had hacked into his e-mail account.

After taking control of the e-mail account, criminals sent fake e-mails to everyone listed in the doctor's contact book saying that the wallet and other valuables of the doctor had been lost on a trip to the West Africa. Therefore, he desperately needed money to pay hotel bills and other expenses.

The e-mail also states that person willing to help the doctor should give a reply after which he will send the information of bank account for transferring money.

Preliminary investigation by the Mumbai Crime Branch has found that the group operating the scam is residing in Ethiopia. Officials have also revealed that this scam has been circulating on the Internet for past few months.

A cyber cell official said that it was another gang of criminals that adopted the techniques of organized Nigerian online job scam to deceive people. They are investing the case to trace the Internet Protocol (IP) address so that the origin of the e-mail could be identified, as reported by The Times of India on June 14, 2009.

Vijay Mukhi, an IT Expert, said that tracing the origin of the e-mail whether it came from Ethiopia or any other country was extremely difficult task, as reported by The Times of India on June 14, 2009. Moreover, an e-mail account could be created in Mumbai with its control power in any other country. This is an effective way to deceive the investigating agencies and escape arrest.

In a similar e-mail scam, hackers were succeeded to break in the webmail account of an Indian politician 'Mani Shankar Aiyar' in the first week of June 2009. Earlier, famous Indian fashion designer 'Rina Dhaka' had become the first high-profile celebrity to face an online scam reported in early June 2009.

Related article: Indian Financial Industry Facing Rising Online Fraud

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