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Nigerian e-mail scam scoops cash out of victim’s bank account

By Clara Ho, Calgary Herald

CALGARY — A southern Alberta resident fell victim to the Nigerian scam after someone hacked into his e-mail account and requested that large sums of money be transferred out of Canada from his bank account.

On Saturday, Crowsnest Pass RCMP received a complaint of “significant fraud” from a local financial institution, said Sgt. Keith Bott.

A client had sent several e-mails requesting that “large sums of money” be transferred to accounts outside of the country.

The e-mails were vague, making mention of a business deal or land deal. In the end, two wire transfers went to Dubai, one to Australia and one to the U.S., Bott said.

The investigation determined the e-mails originated from Nigeria and that the client’s e-mail account had been hacked.

“The fellow who owned the account at the institution and the e-mail account knew nothing of what was going on,” Bott said.

The victim discovered some activity in his account on Friday and contacted the financial institution, which then reported the incident to police.

“These sort of things have been going on for a long time,” Bott said. “Now the Internet has made it that much easier.”

He recommended that people protect themselves by changing their e-mail passwords frequently, and use passwords that aren’t easy to guess such as a pet’s name, birthdate or address.

And if they come across a deal that seems too good to be true, it probably is, he added.

Crowsnest Pass, RCMP Commercial Crime and the RCMP Tech Crime Unit continue to investigate.


May 3, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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