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Bahamas: Sun, Sand, Sea & Scam

Recently, Bahamas witnessed the emergence of a phishing scam, wherein
outlanders feigning to be IRS (Internal Revenue Service) employees from
USA attempted to dupe people by extracting confidential data to gain their
bank accounts.

The fraud, asserting to have initiated from IRS, communicates receivers
about an outstanding federal tax return. It also leads them to a site
resembling the actual IRS website in appearance. The bogus Internet site
contains the same kind of forms, just changed to solicit thorough data
concerning the receiver. Educational institutions happen to be chief
victims of this con.

After the fraud, Central Bank of The Bahamas has released a cautionary to
curb people from falling prey to scams. "The plan aims non-resident
foreigners, who might or might not earn revenue from a United States
origin, employing false IRS identity and a changed IRS form, like a W-8BEN
Form. The aim is to dodge foreign nationals into divulging their private
financial details," alleged the caveat.

The government of Bahamas has maintained that it is the fiscal
organizations that deliver valid W-8BEN questionnaire and not the IRS. IRS
has issued a general alert about the circulation of such emails. These
cons are supposed to have started from countries, such as Japan, Austria,
Argentina, UK and Canada.

Neither does the IRS demand such sensitive details to be conveyed via
email nor does it solicit personal details, such as bank account, PIN
number or credit card information. This data can be employed to pilfer
personal information and thieve taxpayer's details. The motive is to
penetrate their bank accounts, abuse credit card information for Internet
shopping or request for credit and current facilities.

Several other problems are also being probed by the Police in Bahamas.
These are the infamous Nigerian 491 fraud wherein recipients were enticed
with false investment plans. During an interview, the designated police
officer, Drexel Cartwright stated that hackers who have outlived such
cybercrimes hitherto are scamming the naïve populace.

Central Bank has exhorted individuals to consult IRS proposal to protect
themselves from exploitation by such strikes. At the same time, users are
recommended to use precautionary measures like installing effective
anti-spam or anti-phishing package.

Related article: Bank Issues Spam Alerts

» SPAMfighter News - 9/27/2006

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