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Four Men Accused Over Princess Diana Lottery Fraud

Prosecutors in New York have accused 4 Nigerian nationals for apparently launching one e-mail scam wherein the spam mail told recipients that they were the inheritor of huge wealth or winner of a lottery.

The accused, understandably, distributed fraudulent e-mails in bulk, assuring potential victims enormous prize money of $5m from a bogus ticket raffle pertaining to so-called "Princess Diana Lottery," alternatively some million-dollar inheritance, which a far off family member bequeathed them. They apparently called their victims "magu" meaning "fool" in Nigerian slang.

Occasionally the e-mails showed fake senders' addresses that spoofed John Bolton, ex-U.N Ambassador, while other times they spoofed Tony Snow late press secretary of White House, or Reverend John Best, the federal officials stated. Myfoxphoenix.com published this on September 9, 2010.

Moreover, for making the recipients believe that the e-mails were genuine, including the fees and taxes mentioned, the defendants usually attached notifications and correspondences on false IRS letterhead that also carried the supposed signatures of the Internal Revenue Service agents.

Said the officials that people who became convinced and answered the e-mails were then directed to provide personal information, including bank account details that the alleged culprits then used for identity theft. The culprits even made victims send money for supposedly fulfilling fee/tax payments to claim the inheritance/lottery prizes. Consequently, a loss of over $2m hit victims along with their banks.

One of the victims, a woman, aged 56, from Louisiana received an e-mail in 2008 from John Fingleton saying that an England-based distant relative had left her an $8m inheritance. The e-mail indicated to her that she should create one fresh checking account where $100,000 (from filched funds) would be transferred but then instructed her that she must transmit $94,000 of that fund into an HSBC Bank account in China. The woman, however, didn't at all get the inheritance.

Stated Lynch, U.S Attorney that it were decades now that 'advanced fees' scams had been into existence, with Internet-users being defrauded off their money and identities. Brooklyn Daily Eagle website published this on September 9, 2010.

The Attorney also said that the four defendants would be shortly tried.

Related article: Free Web Host Services: spammer’s bull’s eye

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