411 Scammers Targets Zimbabwean Minister
Zimbabwe's Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister, Moses Mzila Ndlovu, a member of MDC-M (Movement for Democratic Change -- Mutambara, a Zimbabwean political party), has been recently (third week of July, 2010) victimized by the 411 scammers. These 411 scams are also known 'Advance-fee fraud' or '419'. These scams are very complex and it is believed that they are run by the Nigerians.
Ndlovu claimed that the email was sent to all his contacts. The e-mail wrongly informed all the contacts that Ndlovu holed up in a London hotel and had lost all his personal and travel documents. The e-mail further made a request for £1 500 as transport money to be paid by him on his return in Zimbabwe.
According to a statement published by zimidiaspora on July 18, 2010, Ndlovu stated that he had received lots of phone calls from people seeking to verify the story. Ndlovu got panic and tried to access his emails, but failed.
Ndlovu stated that he was in the procedure of organizing his emails and warned that the plea for assistance was fake and should be avoided.
Like Ndlovu, many other people have also complained that their accounts were being hacked, with Yahoo mail being the most prone to such attacks.
As per the security experts, Nigerian scams or 419 scams are not only confined to Zimbabwe, rather they are globally spread and not new to the cyber world. These scams were first noticed in 2009, when victims lost money than ever before, as reported by 'Ultrascan", a Dutch Investigation Firm in January 2010.
As per the firm (which examined 8,503 cases across 152 countries in 2009) victims lost around $9.3 Billion last year alone compared to $6.3 Billion in 2008. Though a large part of AFF is still controlled by the Nigerian people, it is not always executed by the people of Nigeria. Ultrascan's 225 page report stated that a least of 51,761 scammers committed their crimes from other 69 countries, while other 250,000 did from Nigeria.
To avoid such type of scams, the security experts suggest netizens to be cautious against e-mails sent by someone from overseas, asking them to send money. They recommend readers to first check the authenticity of the e-mail by calling the person asking for help.
Related article: “Loopholes did not cause online banking thefts”: ICBC
» SPAMfighter News - 29-07-2010