'Sick' Oxfam lottery email scam warning

Sophos is warning Internet users of a email scam that pretends to be a notification from Oxfam. The emails claim that the recipient has won £850,000 in a lottery run by the charity, and asks for the claimant to reply to get details on how the winnings will be transferred.

Sophos is warning Internet users of a email scam that pretends to be a notification from the charity Oxfam. The emails claim that the recipient has won £850,000 in a lottery run by the aid relief organisation, and asks for the claimant to reply to get details on how the winnings will be transferred.

Part of the email, which has the subject line 'Oxfam Grant/Donation Award 2008!!!!!!!', reads:

'These funds are freely given to you for your Business, Economic and Educational Development, as well as the enhancement of the overall standard of living of the less previledged people in your region.Your Email was selected from your country's chambers of commerce and you have been confirmed as one of The lucky recipients of this year's donation programme. You are also entitled to the sum of EIGHT HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND POUNDS STERLING (£850,000.00) as charity donations/aid from the Oxfam GB (UK) International donation scheme.'

"The sick people behind this scam don't seem to have any qualms about bringing the charity's name into disrepute," says Graham Cluley, Sophos senior technology consultant. "Oxfam is, of course, 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, and not a charity worker."

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. In 2007 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," adds 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." www.sophos.com

Image: Sophos's Clueley: sick scammers don't have qualms about bringing the Oxfam's name into disrepute

What do you think about the issues raised in this news story? Share your views at the IT Sector discussion forum.

More IT industry news from the IET

Recent articles

Info Message

Our sites use cookies to support some functionality, and to collect anonymous user data.

Learn more about IET cookies and how to control them

Close