Cyber-criminals turn to LinkedIn

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Scammers have turned to social networking site LinkedIn in a bid to bypass corporate spam filters, a security firm warned today..

A standard 419 scam was sent earlier this week via the LinkedIn website claiming to come from a 22 year-old woman living on the Ivory Coast who had inherited US$6.5 million from her father.

Part of the message reads: 'Before the death of my father on the 12th December 2007 ... he called me secretly to his bed side and told me that he kept a sum of US$6.5m in a bank in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire.

'He explained to me ... that I should seek for foreign partner in a country of my choice where I would transfer this money and use it for investment purpose.'

The message goes on to request bank account information, and implores the recipient and potential victim to reply to a Yahoo email address within seven days.

"419 scammers may be hoping that the typical professional on LinkedIn has more disposable income than the typical MySpace or Facebook user and is potentially a bigger catch," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

"Web 2.0 sites like LinkedIn and Facebook give strangers the ability to contact you without the defensive umbrella of your corporate anti-spam filter.

"Computer users should be on their guard against any unsolicited email as it could be from a cyber-conman."
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