Email Spam – Mrs. Gaddafi offers 40 million dollars for safekeeping

Postfrom sophos authered by Chester Wisniewski

Imagine my surprise this morning when I received an email from the second wife of Muammar Gaddafi, Safia Farkash al-Baraasi!

I suppose I wasn’t really surprised, as every time there is a major news event, tragedy or television spectacle, spammers and fraudsters use the topic to social engineer their victims.

The message itself was quite brief:

Subject: From Safia Gaddafi,Please kindly open the attached file for more information


Clearly this message must be legitimate, the from address is mrs.safiagadaffi2 AT Considering Google’s position on identity we should automatically grant this message higher priority.

The attached Microsoft Word document follows the tried-and-true formula of Nigerian 419 scams. While the story was well researched, it appears to have been based on news reports from May suggesting Mrs. Gaddafi had 20 tons of gold hidden away.

My favorite part reads “As you may be aware that my husband is presently facing a difficulties in Libya.”

Of course, to be of assistance I need to provide Mrs. Gaddafi with my name, address, age, occupation and cell phone number.

Wouldn’t it have been easier to just ask Anonymous? They have dumped that very same information on half of the population at this point.

Don’t open attachments from unknown people, even if they are famous. The standard logic applies here. No one will email you because they have too much money and need your assistance.

  • Mrs. Gaddafi offers 40 million dollars for safekeeping (
  • Gaddafi talks offer ‘is delusional’ (
  • Gaddafi transition talks offer ‘delusional’ (
  • Libya: Gaddafi’s private jet becomes leather-lined lounge for rebels (
  • Libyan rebels close in on Gaddafi’s hometown – ABC Online (
  • Rebels accuse Gaddafi troops of using civilians as human shields (

Tags: 419 scam, ABC Online, Advance-fee fraud, Colonel Gadaffi, , DOC (computing), , Letter (message), , Message, , , Tripoli

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