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Egypt crisis fuels 419-style fraud scams

Advanced-fee fraud scammers are taking advantage of the unrest in Egypt following the resignation of president Hosni Mubarak, a security firm has warned.

Paul Wood, senior analyst at Symantec, said, "It has only been a few days since Egypt's president, Hosni Mubarak, resigned after intense political pressure following widespread protest across the country.

"As we have seen in the past, 419 or advance-fee fraud scammers, who typically promise large amounts of money but demand upfront fees or payments first, are quick to react to current events."

Wood outlined a recent German-language 419 scam that claimed to need the recipient's help to retrieve $2.5 million (£1.5 million) of the president's funds, frozen in a Belgian bank account.

"The recent uncertainty about Murabak's whereabouts and health, as well as reports that many jurisdictions are considering seizing his assets, could perhaps lend credibility to this particular 419 scam," said Wood in a blog post.

Similar advance-fee fraud scams had arisen after the Haiti earthquake, he added.


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