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Hussein's Millions Up For Grabs In Nigerian-Style Scam

A variation of the infamous Nigerian scam starring Saddam Hussein and various henchmen is circulating via e-mail, a U.K. security firm says.

InformationWeek Staff

February 18, 2005

2 Min Read

A variation of the infamous Nigerian scam starring Saddam Hussein and various henchmen is circulating via e-mail, said a U.K. security firm Friday.

According to BlackSpider Technologies, spam hitting the U.K. is offering a share in the private fortunes of Hussein and his closest aids in return for hiding large amounts of money in British bank accounts.

The millions were supposedly made by senior Iraqi officials during the oil for food program of the United Nations. The e-mail goes on to claim that the recent elections in Iraq put the legal wheels in motion to seize the money, requiring the ex-aids to search for another hiding spot for their ill-gotten gains.

The e-mail opens with, "I am Dr. Samir Hassan leading counsel to some member of the deposed former president of Iraq Saddam Hussein is soliciting for private individual who will be willing to keep some million of dollars stash in their private hoses [sic] in their secret places of this cabinet ministers."

The scam promises 10 percent to anyone who will help hide the funds by providing their bank account so a transfer can be made. No such transfer will take place, of course; instead, the scam will siphon money from the victim's bank account or demand up-front "good faith" payments in cash.

"It's a rather more sinister variation on the Nigerian 419 advanced fee fraud," said John Cheney, the chief executive of BlackSpider, in a statement. " Spammers are starting to play on political or religious beliefs, rather than just personal greed, to pull off financial scams."

He also said that if past history was any guide, to expect more of the same. "Although the number of these e-mails in circulation is relatively low, it's likely to increase over the next few weeks."

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