By: Joey Cam
April 26, 2009
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About a week ago I received an email from a friend of mine whom I talk to regularly. It seemed rather odd. The writing style of the email did not match my friend’s style. She was asking me to wire $2,000 to her current location in England. Last we spoke she had not previously mentioned any travel beyond her home in the United States and if anybody I know were to ask me for money they would do so in person or at least call me on my cell phone.
Below is the email I was sent from my friend’s Hotmail account. (My friend’s name was changed to protect her identity from further being stolen.)Hello, How are you doing today? I am sorry i didn’t inform you about my traveling to London for a program called “Empowering Youth to Fight Racism, HIV/AIDS, the program is taking place in London. It has been a very sad and bad moment for me, the present condition that i found myself is very hard for me to explain. I am really stranded in London because I forgot my little bag in the Taxi where my money, passport, documents and other valuable things were kept on my way to the Hotel to lodge, the cab man made away with my bag containing all this documents. I am facing a hard time here because i have no money on me to fix my basic needs here now. I am sending you this e-mail from the city Library and i am begging you to please borrow and send to me $2000 here in London so that i can pay the hotel bills here and fix up the necessary things then i will start coming back home and when i get home i will pay you back the money . Please help me send the money via western union, locate a Western union money transfer there, I was told that the fastest means to receive money here is through Western Union money transfer, Please use the below info to send the money today to me via Western Union.
Name : Lucy Sanders
Address : 5 Bedford Way, London
State : London
Test Question: Colour
Answer : White
Amount: send $2000
Hope to hear from you soon and i promise to pay you back I await the western union transfer details and MTCN from you, God bless you as you do Thanks Lucy.”
I spoke to Lucy in person the next day. She told me that all her Hotmail contacts reported that they received the same spam email. Lucy’s Hotmail account was hijacked by the Conficker virus. Conficker changed her Hotmail password and all information related to password reset methods. I confirmed this when I attempted to reset her password. Since the Conficker virus changed all her account information then how could she confirm to Microsoft that she is the real owner of this email address? In my opinion this email address is unrecoverable. She has since created an alternate email address.
I strongly urge all of you to update your anti-virus software to the latest signature updates. All good anti-virus software allows you to set it up to automatically update itself on a daily basis or as soon as an update becomes available. If you do not have good anti-virus software or none at all I recommend using Kaspersky Anti-Virus. It’s the one I have been using for a years to keep my PC virus-free.
05/16/09 Update: A couple of days ago I received another scam email from Lucy’s Hotmail account. This time it is a Nigerian Email Scam. I copied and pasted the email below.Hello i am an Account Officer with United Bank for Africa, My name is James Baker . I am the personal Account Manager to An Engineer a National of your country who used to work with an Oil servicing Firm in Nigeria. On October 21, 2006 my client was involved in a car accident along Agege express way. All occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost their lives. Since then I have made several inquiries to your embassy to locate any of my client’s extended Relatives, this has also proved unsuccessful. After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to trace his last name over the Internet, to locate any member of his family hence I contacted you. I have contacted you to assist in repatriating the money and property left behind by my client before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank where this huge deposits were lodged, particularly UNITED BANK OF AFRICA Where the deceased had an account Valued about $15 million us dollars. The bank has Issued me a notice to provide the next of kin. Or have the account confiscated within the next ten official working days. Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over 2 years, and since you bear the same last name with him, I now seek your consent to PRESENT you as the NEXT OF KIN of the deceased so that this account valued at $ 15 million us dollars will be paid to you. The sharing modality is still open and negotiable. All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us see this deal through. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. Please get in touch with me by my email. Best Regards James Baker
If you or anybody you know that has been infected by the Conficker virus SPEAK UP! Post a comment below.
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Tags: Conficker virus, Hotmail hijack, Scam Email