The Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife, and top Polish officials were recently killed in a tragic plane crash in a forest near Smolensk, Russia. Without wasting a moment, scammers have latched onto this dreadful incident to send spam email messages. Symantec has come across scam messages that refer to this plane crash and there have been numerous attempts to lure recipients into a so-called opportunity of becoming a beneficiary of massive wealth.
The messages in this latest spam run take the form of a typical “419 scam” email, in which the scammer introduces himself as a banker who is in charge of a deceased customer’s account; in this case he claims to be a director of a bank in Malaysia and the customer is Mrs. Maria Kaczynski, wife of Polish President Lech Kaczynski. The scammer claims that he will use his purported director’s position to change all of the information and documents related to the actual fund beneficiary in favor of the recipients of the scam message. If the recipients are interested in the proposal, they will need to reply back with information such as full name, nationality, occupation, passport number, age, sex, and marital status. Haven’t we all seen such tricks before!
Sample image of the message (shortened):
In another scam variation we see the scammer identifying himself as one of the special agents to the late Polish President Lech Kaczynski. He wants the recipients to take delivery of two boxes containing millions of dollars. Huge amounts of money are always mentioned in such emails to catch the attention of users. Both of the email samples request that the recipients to reply back using the provided email addresses and/or phone numbers.
Using the above examples, Symantec would like to inform email users about these types of scam messages leveraging the news of this tragedy. We recommend that users do not attempt to get involved in any sort of communication with the scammers using the email addresses or phone numbers provided in these emails.
Note: Thanks To Pavlo Prodanchuk and Nicholas Johnston for contributed content.