NEWS FROM THE LAB - Monday, July 4, 2011

Congratulations!!! You won �2m pounds: SMS 419 Scams Posted by Sean @ 17:03 GMT

Topi Kanniainen, from Digitoday contacted us regarding an SMS advance fee fraud (419) scam message that he received.

It turns out that a member of our Threat Research team has also received such a message, back in January — he saved it.

Here's what it looks like:


Here's ukmobilelotto.com:


Google Apps?

The (cloud friendly) scammers probably built and paid for it using stolen funds.

So what happens if you call the number?

Believe it or not, there's actually somebody on the other end of these phone numbers that answer if called. If they think you sound vulnerable, they'll attempt to scam you in a variety of ways.

We called the number from Topi's SMS with one of our "burn" phones and uploaded the results to the Labs' YouTube channel.

Advance Fee Fraud (419) SMS

Heh, guess he didn't like that we were calling from Helsinki.

If you receive a text message such as this, the best course of action is to do a Web search for the sending number. It doesn't take very long before you'll find some crowd-sourced information, typically on websites such as WhoCallsMe.

Here's the story published by Digitoday: Uusi huijaus vaanii suomalaisia � �l� soita t�h�n numeroon. [Finnish]

Updated to add on July 7th: Here's another example — this one from our Swedish office.

You have won �990,00.GBP. Pounds in NOKIA UK

Notice the number starts with +44 (70). That's a "personal number" that can be routed anywhere.