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E-Mail Fraud Targeting Canadians Tries to Extract Money

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center (CAFC) are cautioning netizens that an "emergency scam" is victimizing more-and-more people by means of compromised e-mail accounts.

Police stated that scammers are sending e-mails to the addresses in the contact list of compromised accounts to hunt for possible victims. THE PETERBOROUGH EXAMINER reported this during the 3rd week of December 2009.

In the e-mails, the scammers, pretending to be one of the family member or a family member's friend, state that they immediately need money because some urgent situation has arisen. The situation referred to is commonly imprisonment or hospitalization during the sender's absence from home.

Significantly, while these requests are e-mailed to the contact addresses of the hijacked account, the owner of that account doesn't get to know anything.

Said Iain McEwan, OPP Const. in Peterborough County (Ontario, Canada), the scam's success depends on people becoming emotional and taking hasty decisions, reported THE PETERBOROUGH EXAMINER.

Head of Criminal Intelligence Cpl. Louis Robertson of CAFC said mockingly that the dumb offender uses a gun to rob someone off $50, while the clever offender creates a website, as per the news published by CBCnews on December 15, 2009.

The Internet is full of complaints that people make about being targeted by a scam. They admit the fact that they fell for the scam despite being Internet savvy. While these are cases of people who acknowledge that fraudsters have scammed them, there are many who don't at all realize this. The people unaware of this might have clicked some malicious link or attachment in an e-mail, which would have loaded a malicious program on their computers, converting them into "bots" so they could be used for spamming others.

Meanwhile, there has been substantial growth in the scam since 2008, with OPP revealing that it got 36,000 complaints by e-mails during 2009.

Thus, police has cautioned that anyone getting these e-mails should avoid sending money. Indeed, he must first confirm with the sender of the e-mail if he really asked for it. And in case it's a fraud, the e-mail's recipient must dial the helpline number of the OPP or the CAFC and report the incident.

Related article: E-Crime Reporting Format To Be Launched in July

» SPAMfighter News - 25-12-2009

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