TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Microsoft and Nigeria Fight Email Scammers

Microsoft and Nigeria Fight Email Scammers

Reuters News Wire (
Thu, 13 Oct 2005 22:35:34 -0400

Microsoft has announced an anti-fraud partnership with Nigeria, the
country of origin for some of the Internet's most notorious email

Microsoft, which has been working to improve security and reliability
amid an onslaught of malicious software targeting weakness in Windows
and other Microsoft software, signed a memorandum of understanding
with the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on

The agreement is designed to foster cooperation to combat issues such as
spam, phishing, spyware, viruses and counterfeiting.

The email scam, known as a 419 scheme after the relevant section of
the Nigerian Criminal Code, is a computer age version of a con game
that goes back hundreds of years and is sometimes called "The Spanish

Victims are contacted by a stranger who claims to have access to large
sums of money. They are told that the money can only be accessed if
they disclose the details of their bank account or put up an advance
fee, but the promised funds never materialize.

The EFCC said its Advance Fee Fraud Section "is currently investigat-
ing hundreds of suspects and prosecuting over 50 cases, involving
close to 100 accused persons, in courts throughout Nigeria."

Under terms of the pact, "Microsoft and the EFCC will work together to
combat the problem of internet crime through information sharing and
training on Microsoft's technical expertise in this area," the parties

Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.

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