February 18, 2011
Consumers Targeted by Email Scam Related to Events in Egypt
HARTFORD, February 18 -- The Department of Consumer Protection is warning consumers today about a new version of the foreign email scam. This correspondence, purporting to be from a Mr. Mohammed Hammad, a so-called consultant to the Egyptian past-president Muhammad Hosni Mubarak, asks recipients for help in moving money and investments out of Egypt following recent changes in the country’s government.
The email, which was received today by some Connecticut consumers, contains a link that, once opened, could load viruses or tracking software onto the recipient’s computer.
“This example demonstrates how quickly and easily a scammer can craft and deliver a message designed to appeal to the interests and passions of a particular audience,” Consumer Protection Commissioner William M. Rubenstein said today. “Unwary victims could be convinced to send money or account numbers in hopes of participating in this endeavor, only to be defrauded. Just by opening the link in the email, they might unknowingly make their computers available for looting by data thieves.”
Many, but not all scam letters and emails include misspellings and grammatical errors that should immediately mark them as suspicious. The Egyptian email contains several misspellings in the former Egyptian president’s name.
Consumers who receive these emails should forward them to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) spam database at SPAM@UCE.GOV. The FTC and its law enforcement partners use the database to generate cases against people who use spam to spread false or misleading information.
Avoid opening any links inside the email, and once you’ve forwarded it to the FTC, delete the bogus e-mail from your inbox and your deleted items area.
More information on spam and bogus emails is available at www.ftc.gov/spam.
Media Contact: Claudette Carveth