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E-mail Scam Sends Hoax Message to Australian Inboxes

An e-mail scam with the subject heading "Urgent Account Revalidation Process" is asking recipients to follow the revalidation process by providing their full name and iiNet password, according to a warning released by an advisory at iiNet, as reported by SCmagazine on February 18, 2008.

According to Network Operations Center Manager, Simon Parker, iiNet, several reports have been received by the Internet Service Provider (ISP) from participants and users of the well-known online forum, Whirlpool, as reported by SCmagazine on February 18, 2008.

Parker also said that iiNet immediately took the action on finding the problem. Those e-mails not opened were deleted in the cleaning process. However, some users read the e-mails, so for those, iiNet put up their e-mail page and advised them immediately.

Thus, the advisory from iiNet urges users, who have responded to the hoax e-mail, to set a new password on their account at https://toolbox.iinet.net.au/ or contact the support team at iiNet. The iiNET also said that it does not request users to verify passwords over e-mail. Furthermore, falling victim to such a scam has occurred for the first time for iiNet, Parker said.

According to officials at the fraud and corporate crime office in Australia, another type of e-mail is threatening to Australian people or their family members with content claiming of execution if they will not fulfill the demands of cyber extortionists of paying money.

Dubbed as the 'Hitman' scam, the malicious e-mail messages are being distributed randomly from foreign countries and crafted to scare the targeted victims. The sinister scam emerged in 2007 and asked the recipients a price ranging between US$1,000 and US$10,000. But according to Australian police, investigators know the people behind the scam; they are Polish scammers, making money by scaring the country's residents.

According to Brian Hay, Superintendent of Police in Australia, there are a number of ways to get people's e-mail Ids. One is by hacking into others' computers. However, there are several organized crime groups who buy and sell vast amounts of e-mail Ids, making such kinds of scam common by making anyone and anywhere its victim, as reported by Goldcoast on February 20, 2008.

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

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