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Mumbai Terrorist Attack Advance Fee Scam

Summary:
Email claims that the sender was badly injured in the November 2008 Terrorist Attack in Mumbai, India, and needs the recipient's help to distribute several million dollars to charity (Full commentary below).



Status:
False - The message is a scam designed to steal money and personal information

Example:(Submitted, December 2008)
Subject: I NEED YOUR PRAYERS PLEASE GET BACK TO ME

Hello, I am writing from the hospital in India, therefore this mail is very urgent as you can see that I am going home.I was at the Trident-Oberoi Hotel when I was badly shot during the last Nov 29th Terrorist attack in Mumbai and has got my lever damaged and can only live for some weeks according to medical experts.I have some money ($28.725 Million) in a secured vault bank I would like use these funds for charity before I join my ancestors.

I will give you the documents of the money and will direct you to a well known lawyer that I have appointed to him, the lawyer will assist you to change the documents of the money to your name to enable the vault bank transfer the money to you.

This is the favour I need when you have gotten the money :- (1) Give 10% of the money to my servant, Mr Jose as he has been there for me throught my illness and I have promised to support him in life. I want you to take him along with you to your country and esterblish him as my son. (2) Give 10% of the money to Charity Organisations and Churches on my name so that my soul may rest in peace.

This should be a code between you and Rev.Micheal Cook in this transactioin"Hospital" any mail from him, the barrister he will direct you to I don't know what will happen to me in the next few hours.

(2) Request the lawyer's international passport, his name is Micheal Cook. And Let Jose send you his National ID as he has no passport to be sure of whom you are dealing with. Jose is so little therefore guide him.

If I don't hear from you within two days, I will look for another person. May God bless you and use you to accomplish my wish.Do get back to me so that I will give you the contact of the attorney,Rev.Micheal Cook.

Pray for me always.

Anne Nanda .
Thank you Holy Father.




Commentary:
Internet scammers are always quick to capitalize on significant and newsworthy events such as terrorist attacks, wars and natural disasters. Such events allow Internet scammers to concoct seemingly plausible, but totally bogus, cover stories designed to fool potential victims into sending them money and personal information.

In the scam attempt discussed here, the criminal claims to be "Anne Nanda", a woman who received gunshot wounds during the November 2008, terrorist attack in Mumbai, India. According to the message, the hapless Anne has only weeks to live (due to a damaged "lever" no less), and requires assistance in distributing a portion of some 28 million dollars to charity and to help a faithful servant, with plenty left over for the recipient's own use.

The recipient is urged to reply to "Anne" within two days to receive contact details for an attorney who is supposedly in charge of the funds and will organize the transfer.

However, the specified funds do not exist, nor is the message from a terrorist victim. The criminals responsible for the message will attempt to extract money and personal information from any recipient who falls for the bait and replies. Those who reply and continue a dialogue with the scammers will soon be asked to send various fees in advance of receiving the supposed funds. The criminals will claim that these fees are required to cover insurance, legal or banking expenses and cannot be deducted from the funds to be transferred. Of course, any fees sent will be kept by the scammers. Victims may also be tricked into providing large amounts of personal information during the course of the scam and this information may later be used to steal their identities.

Advance fee scammers have been operating for decades and they use a seemingly endless variety of cover stories designed to elicit the same result. Internet users should be very cautious of any unsolicited message that promises a share in millions of dollars in return for helping to transfer and process the supposed funds. Any such "deal" is virtually certain to be an advance fee scam like the one described above.

Read more information about Advance Fee Scams



References:
November 2008 Mumbai attacks
Nigerian Scams - 419 Scam Information

Last updated: 30th December 2008
First published: 30th December 2008

Write-up by Brett M. Christensen