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Spanish Police Arrests Ten Nigerians For Alleged E-mail Lottery Scam

Sophos, the provider of IT security, has once again warned computer users to be wary of Internet scams after ten individuals were arrested in Spain for allegedly defrauding victims in an online lottery scam, as reported by Sophos on February 18, 2008.

All the ten fraudsters belong to Nigeria and they are suspected to have made over 19,000 Euros ($28,000) by extorting money from Internet users by tricking them into believing they were winners in a lottery game.

According to a report of the Spanish Police, the e-mails came from the suspects originated in the Teatinos locality of Malaga in Spain. It also reported that the scammers illegally used a wi-fi connection of their neighbor to send out the fraudulent e-mails. Police arrested seven people in Malaga and an additional three in the Huelva province.

Police also claimed that the suspected gang used the Internet connection of an innocent party to distribute their phony lottery e-mails, emphasizing the need for properly secured home wireless systems.

Senior Technology Consultant at Sophos, Graham Cluley, said that such e-mail scams arrived in many people's inboxes daily all over the world with some people clearly believing and doing exactly what the e-mails demand, as reported by Itnews on February 20, 2008.

Fortunately, authorities managed to shut down the lottery scam quickly before it affected a lot of people. However, there are other cyber criminals using various methods to seize the credentials of people and cleaning out the victims' bank balances.

Besides, researchers with Sophos noted that Malaga is not new to this kind of Nigerian-run online scam. In the year of 2005, a large gang of 310 people involved in an e-mail lottery scam was arrested in Malaga. The arrests took place after joint an investigation by the Spanish Police and FBI against Nigerian-run scam.

Considering the new arrests, Sophos cautions home computer users to adequately secure their wireless Internet connection to prevent anyone from taking advantage without permission. People can do easily secure their wi fi connection with strong passwords in place of the default ones, through encryption, filtering of MAC address and by blocking access of the Internet for certain hours.

Related article: Spamhaus’ List Of 10 Worst International Spammers

» SPAMfighter News - 2/27/2008

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