Beware tsunami scams

Both the FBI and the UK’s National Criminal Intelligence Service are warning the public to be vigilant about Tsunami aid scams. According to, there are four types of scam

Types of scams:

  1. Phishing scams: fraudulent websites have been set up pretending to be legitimate
  tsunami relief organizations. These sites request charitable donations, but
  in fact steal financial information and may be used for identity theft as well.
  Contributions go into the pockets of the scammers.
  2. Variants of the Nigerian fee scam: unsolicited email (spam) is sent with
  the supposed purpose of retrieving large amounts of money tied up in areas devastated
  by the tsunami disaster.
  3. Viruses and trojans: Spam is sent that includes photos of disaster areas
  or individual survivors, and these attachments contain computer viruses.
  4. Fee-based spam: unsolicited emails offer, for a fee, to locate loved ones
  who may be disaster victims.

It’s reprehensible that a criminal set would choose to take advantage of the disaster for their personal financial gain, or just to spread a simple computer virus. It must not deter the millions of generous and honest people from making donations. The unifying impact on disparate nations and peoples in the face of this adversity is the one good consequence of the tsunami. Actions like these scams cynically strike at the root of those endeavors.

Thankfully some are being caught and promptly dealt with like this email hoaxer, who thought it would be fun to tell people searching for lost relatives, that they’d died.  Yes, hilarious.

  • Annette Cobbs

    Below is a letter I recently received and he won’t leave me alone.
    —-Original Message—–
    From: PETER ANYAWU []
    Sent: Wednesday, March 30, 2005 11:29 PM
    Dear Cobbs,
    I know this Letter will come to you as a suprise,though i do not intend to embarras you.Let me start by Formally introducing My self to you .I am Barrister Peter Anyawu,a Legal Practitioner and Head ofChambers,of an International accredited Law Firm .
    I am the Attorney representing Engr.CHARLES Anthony Cobbs who lost his life in recent Tsunami disaster while on vacation with his family in Thailand at the famous tourist resrt Island of Phuket.According to report reaching me,based on an extensive inquiry through Nigeria Embassy in Thailand revealed that non of his family member survived devastating Tsunami disaster.
    My deceased client lived most of his life time in Nigeria and took here as a home..As a consultant to OilProspecting Companies in Nigeria he made fortune for him self and ihave been his personal Attorney Spanning for a period of five years.
    Now to the brass tack ,the deceased took life Insurance Policy which entitles any Surviving member of his family to a whooping sum of USD19,000,000.00 in the event of his death.Unfortunately his wife and children who statutorily are his next of kin are no more and under the existing law here the Surviving relatives of my deceased client becomes the benefactors.
    It is as a result of this development that compelled me to go into an extensive search in the internet for possible trace of his family Linage but to no avail.However,since coincidentally both of you bear the same Last name,I want to seek your consent to present you as a relative to My deceased client by virtue of family linage.As attorney to the decesaed the onus of proof to establish your relationship with my client,rest on me and toachieve this objective,there are judicial process involved which i will brief you on subsequent correspondence if you indicate interest.
    I am not puruing this cliam for the monetary gain,it is a duty i owe to my late client as i intend to use part of the fund to establish a Foundation in his name,notwithstanding you will be adquately rewarded for your assistance in this endeavour,as you will receive 30% of the total amt involved.
    Expecting to hear from you as soon as possible.
    Peter Anyawu esq.
    Priciple partner