Lebanese lottery scammer arrested in Cyprus

Sophos is reminding computer users about the danger of internet scams following the arrest of a Lebanese man alleged to have defrauded victims out of USD 10 million using bogus emails. According to media reports, Ali Mohamed Kdoud, allegedly the subject of Interpol investigation over the past two years, was arrested at Cyprus’s Larnaca airport on Thursday 6 December as he attempted to leave the island. 

Kdoud has been charged with extorting millions of dollars from computer users located around the world.  The victims each received emails which stated that they had won the lottery and requested confidential and financial information to prove their identities, as well as money for processing fees.  Reports suggest that authorities are currently holding Kdoud, while awaiting extradition papers.

Sophos experts note that lotto scams, which usually take place via email, involve messages with subject lines such as “Lucky Winner’, which bogusly notify recipients that they have won a large amount of money.  These emails often include a “unique’ reference number and a phone number.  When contacted, the scammers claim they need to collect information from the recipient to ensure the prize is rightfully theirs.  The confidential data taken from the victim is then used to commit identity theft and drain bank accounts.




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