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Cyprus Police Arrests Lebanese of Lotto E-mail Scam

A Lebanese national has been arrested in Cyprus in connection with e-mail scam, allegedly promoting a lottery scheme and for swindling at least $10 Million.

Media reported that 39-year-old Ali Mohamed Kdoud, whom the Interpol was interested in for their investigation since the last two years, was held at Larnaca Airport in Cyprus on December 6, 2007 when he was trying to flee the island. Mohamed Kdoud is charged of extorting dollars in millions from e-mail users across the world. Each of the victims of the scam received e-mail, which announced the recipient as the winner of the lottery, and so asked him to confirm his identity by providing his financial information. The e-mail also requested for money to process the shipment of the winning sum.

Police said that they are sure that the alleged scammer shipped enormous sums of dollars into an account of a US bank.

Experts at Sophos note that the lottery scams typically operate via e-mail whose messages usually have subject lines as "Lucky Winner" that falsely inform recipients that a large sum of money awaits them. There is often a phone number and a unique number for reference inside these e-mails. When the recipient contacts at the given number, the scammer requests him for certain information pretending to confirm he is the rightful winner of the prize and after he collects the information that is typically confidential, he uses it to defraud the victim and swipe funds from his bank account.

Senior Security Consultant of Sophos, Carole Theriault, said that scammers are increasingly being arrested as they commit identity theft by cheating victims with bogus e-mails. Theriault added that the greedy crooks must now be made to pay for their crimes. Vnunet reported this on 7th December 2007.

This new arrest should serve as a warning to all e-mail users. Government statistics indicate that scams via e-mail defraud British residents of around one billion Pounds annually.

Some other common e-mail scams relate to financial scams are pump-and-dump stock scam, and the Nigerian 419 scams through which the writer implores for financial help by inducing sympathy in the recipient.

Related article: Cheburgen.a: A New Email Worm

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