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OFT cautioning people against Valentine scams

UK's OFT (Office of Fair Trading) is cautioning e-mail users against scammers who're trying to deceive unwitting people into opening fake Valentine's Day e-mails.

States the OFT that scammers are looking for dating websites and lonesome hearts columns to trap potential victims. Subsequently, they set up fake online profiles alternatively dispatch unsolicited e-mails that frequently display false photographs.

Expressing a desire to meet the recipient of the e-mail, the message's sender rues that he's stranded with no money to make the journey or meet his visa expenses. Sometimes, the e-mail even states that the sender himself or someone from his family needs immediate medical treatment and so he needs money.

Notes the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that the region most hit with the fictitious e-mails is West Africa. In these messages, the fraudsters pose as foreign nationals stationed in West Africa in connection with business.

State the reports that SOCA i.e. the Serious Organized Crime Agency is working all over the world for catching criminal groups executing these scams. Recently, one such group kidnapped an Englishman who traveled to West Africa hoping that someone would meet the gangsters whom they previously befriended online.

Remarking about this, deputy director Sharon Lemon of SOCA stated that one shouldn't be scared of surfing on the Net for communicating with new people, however, criminals everywhere searched for opportunities, including the Internet. Computer Active published this in news on February 5, 2010.

Says Senior Director of Consumer Group, Heather Clayton at the Office of Fair Trading, the Internet has become a convenient means to meet as well as interact with strangers, but people using dating websites for this purpose must be vigilant of possible dating scams. Easier Lifestyle published this in news on February 5, 2010.

Clayton further says that while all frauds are damaging, dating fraudsters cause an especial damage since they exploit people's emotive faith and attachment they endow while seeking to acquaint with someone.

Aside this, the OFT suggests that in case anyone is asked for money through e-mail, he should become alert, despite being familiar with the individual for, say, several weeks.

Related article: OFT Begin Online Security Awareness Campaign to Save Brits

» SPAMfighter News - 2/12/2010

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