A new wrinkle in Nigerian e-mail scams

If it isn’t one thing, it’s another. Not only is Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab being held on charges of trying to blow up Northwest Airlines flight 253 near Detroit on Christmas Day, but it seems that a large amount of his money has been frozen in a bank account. But his brother, Hassan Ali Abdul Mutallab, is working on a way to get at that money — and he needs your help.

“I am seeking urgent assistance of a good believe of Islam who will provide an account and his name to me,” he writes in an e-mail message with the subject line “Take my Salaam and respect.” But this is a “SECRET TRANSACTION,” and to learn more about how you can help, you should contact Hassan for further information.

Believe it or not, the folks at Symantec think this offer is a scam similar to other Nigerian 419 advance fee scams. “Without replying to the scammer, it's impossible to be sure exactly how the scam works, but the Symantec Hosted Services team has every suspicion that it operates like most 419 scams,” an alert from Symantec states. “Before the nonexistent money can be released, various increasingly inventive fees and charges have to be paid.”

The best advice is to not give up any account information or money in the hope that the brother of a would-be terrorist will share his money with you.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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