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News

Sophos warns of sick email scam which exploits the charity Oxfam.

Sophos : 04 March, 2008  (Technical Article)
Charity lottery email supposedly run by Oxfam is fraudulent and has no connection with the respected charity warns Sophos.
IT security and control firm Sophos is warning internet users of a new email scam that pretends to be a lottery notification from the charity Oxfam. The emails claim that the recipient has won £850,000 in a lottery run by the international aid relief organisation, and asks for the claimant to reply to get details on how the winnings will be transferred.

The email has the subject line 'Oxfam Grant/Donation Award 2008!!!!!!!'

'Oxfam is one of the world's most respected aid agencies, fighting famine around the globe. But the sick people behind this scam don't seem to have any qualms about bringing the charity's name into disrepute,' said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. 'Of course, Oxfam is not responsible for the email and internet users need to learn that any unsolicited lottery win email arriving in their inbox is likely to be sent by a conman, not a charity worker. Replying to the email risks putting your financial well-being in danger.'

The scam email tells recipients to contact a live.com email address, and also lists a UK 070 personal phone number for people who wish to make contact via telephone. Last year Sophos revealed that 070 telephone numbers are frequently used by lottery scammers who can redirect calls using the system to any phone number in the world.

'Email lottery scams are abusing 070 telephone numbers to steal money and confidential information,' continued Cluley. 'By redirecting the number overseas, criminals can fool victims into believing they are speaking to a legitimate agency rather than a bunch of identity crooks focused on raiding bank accounts.'

In January Sophos published its annual Security Threat Report, which detailed the different ways in which cybercriminals attempt to steal cash and identities across the internet.

Sophos recommends that all organisations protect themselves with a consolidated solution which can control network access and defend against the threats of spam, hackers, spyware and viruses.
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