419 email scam asks Muslim brotherhood for help

Brother of alleged Christmas airline bomber says he needs assistance retrieving funds

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419 email scam asks Muslim brotherhood for help 419 scams are on the rise trying to lure more victims into parting with their cash.
By  Vineetha Menon Published  January 16, 2010

A new 419-style scam is appealing to the Muslim brotherhood for help in trying to retrieve funds belonging to Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab who attempted to blow up a Northwest Airline flight on Christmas Day.

The message is purportedly sent from his brother Hassan Ali Abdul Mutallab and starts with "Take my Salaam and respect" and goes on to explain that the he needs help from a ‘Muslim brother/sister' to transfer funds deposited in his account by Umar Farouk Abdulmutalla.

Security specialists Symantec believe that it operates like most other 419 scams where the sender keeps requesting that various fees and charges need to be paid before the money is released. The fees keep increasing until the victim of the scam realises that there's no chance of getting and money and eventually gives up.

MessageLabs, part of Symantec, is also warning of another scam that uses the recent devastating Haiti earthquake as bait. In this instance, the message pretends to come from the British Red Cross Society requesting people to donate via Western Union using details of a liaison officer. 

More scams are expected to hit cyberspace related to the Haiti earthquake so if you're unsure about the authenticity of messages, go directly to the relief organisation website for accurate donation details.

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