Hackers dupe professor's friend

Hackers dupe professor's friend
Hackers dupe professor's friend 

December 11, 2007

Hackers in Nigeria got into the email account of a Calcutta-based 
professor and duped one of his friends of more than a lakh.

The hackers wrote from the email address of Ratan Khasnabish, who 
teaches in Calcutta Universitys business management department, to a 
businessman friend, saying he had run out of cash in Nigeria and 
immediately needed money to clear his hotel dues. The recipient (name 
withheld on request) had sent the amount through electronic money 
transfer system.

The mail that the friend received on December 7 read: I am in Nigeria to 
participate in a conference and have lost my passport, credit card and 
handbag containing dollars while travelling in a taxi. The management of 
the hotel where I checked in is asking me to clear the dues immediately. 
Otherwise, they will throw me out. Please send me $2,500 immediately.

The friend did not suspect any foul play, as he knew Khasnabish travels 
a lot. I sent the money on December 8 to George Pen, who the mail said 
was one of the agents of the hotel, said the friend.

But he became suspicious on receiving a second mail from Khasnabishs 
email address. This time, the hackers asked for $1,800 to pay the air 
fare from Nigeria to Calcutta. I sent a reply in Bengali, written in 
Roman script, asking the sender to write back to me in the same style. 
But there was no response. I then called Khasnabish on his cellphone and 
learnt that he was in Calcutta, not Nigeria, recalled the friend.

Khasnabish, who has lodged a complaint with the state home department 
and the CID, said the hackers had sent a similar mail to another friend 
who lives in Ahmedabad. But he called me as soon as he received it.

Rajeev Kumar, the special inspector-general (operations) of CID, said: 
The victim should have called up Khasnabish before sending the money. 
Earlier, a number of people were duped on being told that they had won 
several lakhs in a lottery and would have to pay a clearance charge to 
receive the money.

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