Tsunami scam linked to Kuwaiti bank in Malta
A fraudulent letter by a scam artist posing as a victim of the Tsunami disaster in Asia is currently circulating over the internet. The letter claims to be from a small village in Indonesia but asks recipients to send donations to an account at FIMBANK, a Kuwaiti owned bank based in Malta. The bank in question, of which Bank of Valletta has a 9.5 per cent shareholding, today released a short public statement in which it denied connections to this online appeal. The public should be warned about this kind of fraud that seeks to take advantage of the suffering and death of thousands of people in the Indian ocean tragedy. Similar fraud took place in the wake of the September 2001 tragedy in New York. Joe Wein, a German software development expert based in Japan , has investigated the originating network of the letter and concludes that the IP is statically assigned to an internet service provider in Africa most likely in Nigeria. The letter is mentioned in a report about online scams published by Reuters:
Crudely written appeals for help have begun to appear in e-mail inboxes, asking for donations through a Web site or an offshore bank account, the analysts said. "It's only a matter of time before...we have fully fledged Web sites that spoof well-known charities, for example," said Paul Wood, chief information security analyst at MessageLabs, an Internet security company. Aid organizations have collected millions of dollars through the Internet since a tsunami claimed an estimated 150,000 lives from Indonesia to Africa on Dec. 26. One message provided to Reuters asks for help freeing up a bank account in the Netherlands, a common 419 tactic. Another claims to be from a small village in Indonesia but asks recipients to route donations through a bank account in Malta. "We have been rendered homeless and have lost all we have in life...We will be very grateful if you can assist us with any amount of money to enable us to start a new lease of life," the message says.
Public statement released by FIMBANK
The original letter with details of the letter's originating network
Online scams emerge in tsunami's wake - by Andy Sullivan of Reuters
Frequently Asked Questions about email fraud