Several 419 scam emails observed recently are leveraging the difficult situation of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to trick users.The emails purport to come from members of the Gaddafi family who are trying to urgently move money out of the country.
Security researchers from Symantec have intercepted one such email that claims to come from Ayesha al-Gaddafi, the daughter of Muammar Gaddafi. It reads:
"Holle my dear. How are you today an your family? I hope all is good, kindly pay Attention and understand my aim of communicating you today through this Letter, My name is Ayesha al-Gaddafi, the only daughter of Libyan President.
"I want you to help me clear this fund that is already in Europe which is deposited by My Mother the amount is 70.500,000 million GBP British Pounds sterling through a consultant.
"Kindly reply immediately with the under listed details: Name and address, Direct Telephone and fax numbers, Age and occupation. Upon your response, I shall then provide you with more details."
Another email seen by security researchers from Sophos purports to come from Safia Gaddafi, wife of the embattled Libyan president. The email comes with a .doc attachment and reads "From Safia Gaddafi,Please kindly open the attached file for more information."
According to Symantec there are multiple such emails in circulation right now, all part of advance-fee scams. Other examples claim to come from Gaddafi's personal guard or wealthy Libyans not related to the president.
"Remember that neither Libya, Gaddafi, nor the alleged doctor needs your help to transfer money out of the country. Such scams are mere snares to harvest your email address and your personal details," the Symantec researchers warns.
Playing into these scams will likely result in monetary loss because the next step after sending personal information to the scammers is to send them money required for legal fees.