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NY District Attorney - Beware of Increasing Email Scams

The Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau of the New York County District Attorney's Office, has been informed about an increase in email scams including illegally obtained email accounts from web-based email providers, as reported by North Country gazette on July 25, 2010.

The scam e-mail asks for an urgent monetary help, describing a false story that the email sender was touring in a foreign country, particularly London, United Kingdom, and was cheated or looted of all his belongings.

In addition, the email urges that the money should be sent through Western Union to cover all expenditure for the time being. The email also promises to return the money.

The security experts reveal that such scams take advantage of the fact that the recipient will respond quickly due to the urgency of the situation. The recipients are deceived by making them believe that the email is coming from an authentic source like a friend, a relative or colleague.

Cyber criminals usually get illegal access to some email account (targeted for the scam) with the help of a previous "phishing" (identity theft) scam and make the recipient to disclose his/her personal details.

An email was sent on April 23, 2010, which was addressed to the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, indicated to an email involved in this type of crimes. The email had been signed with the first name of the account holder, and mentioned that the sender, while on a trip to London, had been looted at gunpoint. Further, it requested some immediate financial help and promised to return back after reaching home. It was a totally scam email.

According to District Attorney CY Vance Jr. they are getting complaints from New York citizens reporting similar scams, as per reported by DNA info, on July 23, 2010. The scams start working when software controlled a user's email account and delivered a universal "S.O.S" message to each one of the user's contact lists.

Hence, Vance advises the recipients to avoid answering immediately to any request sent via email, before verifying the authenticity of the email and not to answer such spam mails.

Related article: New Zealand Releases Code To Reduce Spam

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