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E-mail Hoaxes a Bahrain Sports Club Appeal

Bahrain Road Runners has issued a warning to people to ignore a certain e-mail requesting for donations to save a member of the Bahrain sports organization, who is stranded in Nigeria. Fraudsters hacked into the system of Bahrain Road Runners and started sending the deceptive e-mails.

According to the e-mail, the stranded person has lost his money, passport and other documents and therefore, the recipient could help him by sending $3,500 via Western Union transfer to pay for his food, lodging and travel to get back home.

The appeal had the signature of Bahrain Road Runners with an address in Victoria Island, Lagos. But the chairman of the club, Adnan Al Qassab, confirmed that the mail was a spoof message.

The problem first came to light on July 29, 2007 when Mr. Qassab could not access the computer system as a new password had replaced the old one. He reported the problem to the Google support group, who started a probe into the issue before taking the account under their control and subsequently returned it to Qassab on August 9, 2007.

Qassab said that the cyber-criminal dispatched the spoof mail to nearly 40 people listed in his address book. However, he was sure that nobody succumbed to this scam. He said that he called each one of them and suggested to disregard the mail. GDN published this in news on August 12, 2007.

According to an Internet expert, such offensive hacking into electronic mail accounts had become commonplace. For clubs and businesses that use public accounts like Yahoo, Gmail and Hotmail, it is easy to fall victim just like normal customers, as these accounts are available on the Web, which hackers use too.

The Western Union advises its service users on its Website never to remit money to a unfamiliar person through its money transfer service and to be wary of too profitable deals for they could be false. They should also not send money to pay fees or taxes on lottery earnings. Further, the Union recommends people to encrypt their e-mails, so that outsiders cannot access them from their systems.

Related article: E-Crime Reporting Format To Be Launched in July

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