TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Spam Scam Invokes Princess Diana

Spam Scam Invokes Princess Diana

Jeremy Kirk (
Tue, 13 Dec 2005 18:40:57 -0600

Jeremy Kirk, IDG News Service

LONDON- Antivirus experts have warned users to beware of a spam e-mail
campaign that promises a sizable grant from The Diana, Princess of Wales
Memorial Fund.

The fraudulent e-mail messages say the recipient has been selected to
receive a grant of 2.6 million British pounds (about $4.5 million in
U.S. funds) grant and should contact the organization. However, the
e-mail messages do not come from the memorial fund, which was founded
in September 1997 soon after Diana's death.

The spam is unusual in the sense that it uses the name of a real
charitable fund, plus the name of an actual employee there, according
to a warning from security vendor Sophos.

"This is not one that will look phishy," said Carole Theriault, a
security consultant with Sophos. "They've obviously done their
research before they put it out."

The memorial fund has also issued a warning on its Web site.

Limited Success

Some of the messages contain links to Web sites asking for bank
account details, and in some messages recipients are directed to wire
funds by Western Union to certain people, the warning said.

The fund has received almost daily calls asking about the legitimacy
of the e-mail, and some people are known to have gone through the
first few stages of trying to collect a claim before stopping, said
Therese Lyras, press and communications coordinator for the fund.

"No one has contacted us to say they have actually sent money," she

Copyright 2005 PC World Communications, Inc.

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