Blog: Dean BestSpam could be bad for your health

Dean Best | 31 October 2007

Spam. Don’t you just hate it? (I’m talking about e-mails, rather than pork in a can). It would definitely be in my top ten list of “the most annoying things in the world – ever”.

However, at least – touch wood – it has yet to cost me US$10m. I say this because for a short time, it looked as though US retail group Supervalu may have fallen victim to the latest Internet scam - to the tune of ten million bucks.

According to the Computer World website, so-called “phishing scammers” almost stole $10m from Supervalu by setting up two fraudulent bank accounts and acting as suppliers.

For those of you who have been until now been blissfully unaware, phishing scams prey on unsuspecting individuals and tricking them to have hand over bank account information.

Now, however, some fraudsters are aiming higher and a couple targeted Supervalu in a bid to get millions from the company. First, Supervalu were hoodwinked, leading to some of the cash winging its way to the bogus accounts. Luckily, the company noticed its error and alerted the authorities.

“Due to our internal controls and processes, we were able to quickly discover and report this to the FBI,” a Supervalu spokesperson told me today.” As a result of the quick work of the FBI and the US Attorney, any funds lost are minimal.”

The message is clear – spam could be bad for your (financial) health.

P.S. Some of you may have noticed our site went down this afternoon; apologies for that, it was caused by a power outage up at HQ after local operatives dug up high-voltage cables outside our offices.


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