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Oxfam Abused in E-mail Lottery Scam

Security professionals at software security company Sophos are alerting consumers against an e-mail scam that has just started by spoofing the name of Oxfam, a charitable organization, in attempts to extort personal bank information from recipients of the e-mail, as reported by Webusers on March 4, 2008.

According to Sophos, the hoax e-mail informs the recipient that he is the winner of £850,000 lottery from Oxfam, therefore, the claimant should reply to know the details about the transfer of the winnings. The e-mail is circulating on the Internet has the subject title, "Oxfam Grant/Donation Award 2008!!!!!!"

Portion of the fraud e-mail says that the recipient's e-mail id was chosen from his country's Chambers of Commerce and he has been confirmed as the lucky person to get the award of the 2008 donation scheme. It further says that the recipient would get a sum of £850,000.00 as donations from the charity - Oxfam GB (UK) International donation program.

The e-mail then directs the recipient to get in touch with a live.com e-mail address and also provides a UK telephone number whose number starts with 070. In 2007, Sophos revealed that lottery scammers frequently used the 070-phone number from where the calls could be redirected to any telephone number anywhere around the world.

This way of redirecting the phone number overseas is a tactic of criminals to dupe victims into thinking that they are communicating with a genuine agency but actually, they speak to a group of identity crooks looking for users' bank account details.

Graham Cluley, Senior Technology Consultant, Sophos, said that Oxfam is a respected aid organization in the world battling to curb the impact of famine globally. But these scammers seem to be most unconcerned when they malign the charity's name, as reported by Vnunet on March 4, 2008.

E-mails coming to the Oxfam's Inbox are from common rather than from charity worker. Sending reply to the e-mail could be disastrous for information sender.

Lottery scams run through e-mails are growing fast around the world as the Internet usage increases. Earlier in February 2008, ten Nigerians were arrested in Spain when they made around 19,000 Euro by acquiring payments from unsuspecting surfers who thought they were winners of a lottery.

» SPAMfighter News - 3/13/2008

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