FBI  & NCIS warns of Internet scams after tsunami

 

For Immediate Release
January 5, 2005

Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office

 

TSUNAMI DISASTER RELIEF FRAUD ALERT

Washington, D.C. - The FBI today is alerting the public to a variety of scams currently being facilitated online involving the solicitation of additional relief funds for the victims of the recent Tsunami disaster. The FBI, through the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), has received reports of websites being established purportedly to assist with collection and relief efforts. Complaints submitted to the IC3 have identified several schemes that involve both unsolicited in-coming emails (SPAM), as well as reports of responses to posted email addresses, to assist for a fee, in locating loved ones who may have been a victim of the disaster. A fraudulent relief donation website has also been detected containing an imbedded Trojan exploit which can infect the user's computer with a virus if accessed.

The FBI, in conjunction with domestic with international law enforcement and industry partners, take seriously these egregious actions and are resolved to aggressively pursuing those who would attempt to victimize philanthropic individuals.

The IC3 is cautioning citizens against participating in this type of on-line correspondence. Consistent with previous guidance on incidents of Phishing/Spoofing and Identity Theft, when considering on-line options for providing funding to this relief effort consumers should consider the following:

         Do not respond to any unsolicited (SPAM) incoming emails.

         Be skeptical of individuals claiming to be surviving victims or foreign government officials asking for help in placing large sums of money in overseas bank accounts.

         To ensure that contributions to U.S. based non-profit organizations are used for intended purposes, go directly to recognized charities and aid organizations websites, as opposed to following a link to another site.

         Attempt to verify the legitimacy of non-profit organizations by utilizing various Internet based resources which may assist in confirming the existence of the organization as well as its non-profit status.

         Be leery of emails that claim to show pictures of the disaster areas in attached files, as the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from know senders.

Several variations of this scam are currently in circulation. Anyone who has received an email referencing the above information or anyone who may have been a victim of this or a similar incident should notify the IC3 via the website, www.ic3.gov

NCIS warns of Internet scams after tsunami

 

 

 

Tsunami Fraud Threat - Advice to the Public

The National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) has received reports of criminals seeking to obtain money by claiming to be collecting on behalf of organisations responsible for relief of those affected by the Tsunami disaster.

The following scams have been identified:

1.      Unsolicited incoming emails (SPAM) that offer, for a fee, to locate loved ones who may have been a disaster victim.

2.      Unsolicited emails requesting that money be deposited in overseas banks to support the tsunami relief effort.

3.      Unsolicited emails which seek personal or financial information in an effort to retrieve large amounts of inheritance funds tied up in relation to the tsunami disaster.

Other criminals have used the disaster as a front for spreading computer viruses. False websites have been established which appear to be managed by legitimate relief organizations asking for donations. One of these contains an embedded object that can infect computers with a virus if accessed.

NCIS encourages the public to exercise vigilance in order to prevent and disrupt these and other possible criminal scams. In particular:

1.      Do not respond to any unsolicited (SPAM) incoming emails.

2.      Do not respond to text messages on mobile telephones from unknown sources.

3.      Be sceptical of individuals claiming to be surviving victims or foreign government officials asking you to place large sums of money in overseas bank accounts.

4.      Ensure that contributions to non-profit organizations are used for intended purposes. Contribute only to known charities and recognised outlets collecting on behalf of these charities.

5.      Go directly to recognized charities and aid organizations websites rather than following a link to another site.

6.      Try to verify the legitimacy of non-profit organizations (e.g., use Internet-based resources to help confirm the existence of the organization and its non-profit status).

7.      Be wary of emails that claim to show pictures of disaster areas in attached files, as the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders.

If any suspicious activity is reported to you, forward the details to NCIS at the following email address: tsunamifraud@ncis.x.gsi.gov.uk.

TSUNAMI SPAM

By M M      January 03, 2005 08:01 PM

 Vulture alert: My first tsunami relief spam arrived in the e-mailbox today. It was inevitable...

From: "Marco Nullamento" marconulla@netscape.net

Sent: Monday, January 03, 2005 8:56 AM

Subject: Earthquake and Tsunamis in Indonesia (how we were affected)

Dear Ms

My name is Marco Nula; I am a victim of the recent Earthquake followed by the Tsunami that wrecked our whole society of Banda Aceh Province in Indonesia resulting in painful death of my Parents.

My Late Father Mr. Alfredo Nula is from Paramaribo in Suriname (South America) and my Mother from Banda of Aceh Province in Indonesia, they got married in Suriname because Indonesia like Suriname was a colony of The Netherlands, but they moved to settle in Indonesia when my Sister and I were born and because Indonesia has better economy than Suriname, but my Sister and I was away in School in the Capital Jakarta when this sorrowful incidence happened to my late parents and all other Families affected by the Quake and the Tsunamis all around Sumatra and Aceh Province.

My Father and Mother owned a tourist resort and grocery store at No 71 Panglima Polim Street, Banda Aceh in Indonesia, it was visited by numerous tourists from different countries on Holidays each year but this tragic and devastating Tsunamis took the lives of my parents and many others.
My Late Parents saved much of their money in a Bank in The Netherlands, not only because we were Dutch Colony but also because we speak Dutch as an official Language in Suriname, I contacted my Parents Lawyer in Jakarta and he has confirmed to me that my Parents has the sum of 3.2Million Euros deposited in savings in The Netherlands which will be claimed by me as next of Kin, but he also explained to me that because I was not nationalized in Netherlands after Suriname got Independence from the Netherlands I had no permission to settle there in that Country.

We have recovered the corpses of my Late Parents, although private, international and government aid is coming in, it will not be any where enough to settle our problems, please I am hereby soliciting for your assistance at clearing my Late father's money Euros 3.2Million in The Netherlands, I have asked the Lawyer to provide me with all documents, I shall have send them to you when you show sincere intentions to help me and my Sister, if you are business oriented with experience in Holiday, Hotel and Resort business or have some idea on how to run a groceries shop, I am willing to recommit the money for the full benefit of all (My Sister you and I) apart from that I shall be willing to give a negotiable percentage of the money to you otherwise or alternatively, please contact me on my email address as the telephone system is not functioning at the moment.

Thank you, I hope you understand our predicament and come to our assistance.

Marco Nula