« A one-stop, online shop for stress guidance | Main | Southern Illinois community remembers fallen Marine »

Scammers Posing As Marines Offer Mountains of Cash

Computer security experts say the old Nigerian "prince" scam is making the email rounds again, but this time the deposed "prince" has been replaced by a U.S. Marine. They say the objective is the same – to get recipients to reveal bank account information.

Scammers Posing As Marines Offer Mountains of Cash


January 18, 2006

Officials at the Internet security firm Sophos say they have intercepted a sudden burst of spam emails, purportedly from a Sergeant Richard Murphy of the "Military Engineering Unit" in Iraq.

In a variation of what’s known as the standard 419 scam, the email promises the recipients mountains of cash if they turn over bank account information, and pay some "processing" fees along the way.

"We have about $15 Million US dollars that we want to move out of the country. My colleagues and I need a good partner, someone we can trust. This is a risk free and legal business (oil money)," the message reads.

In years past, anyone with an email account could count of getting regular correspondence from a Nigerian "prince," whose family had been deposed in a coup and who was desperately trying to smuggle the family loot to the U.S. Security experts say scammers simply "freshen" their approaches from time to time, and often follow the headlines.