As Edward Falk recently reported, some “enterprising” Nigerians are trying a variation on the classic Spanish Prisoner scam:
- Somebody breaks into your hotmail account, most likely by phishing. They then send an “emergency” email to everybody on your contacts list claiming to be you. The email says that you were attending a conference in Nigeria, and that you lost your passport, tickets, and money. The letter asks you to wire some emergency money to your friend in Nigeria.
TP Sreenivasan, a former Indian ambassador to the United Nations, received just such a message, “From his brother.” In summary:
- Scammer forges message “from” Hotmail, saying your account is about to expire and to click on a link to re-enable it.
- The link goes to a rogue Web site, which steals the user’s Hotmail password.
- Scammer changes the user’s password.
- Scammer emails everyone in the user’s address book with tale of woe.
- Some kind (if gullible) soul offers to help by wiring money.