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Innovation

ID thieves use Sir Denis Thatcher as bait

Margaret Thatcher's late husband's wealth is being used to tempt email users to fall for the latest email identity theft scam
Written by Dan Ilett, Contributor on

Identity thieves are using the late Sir Denis Thatcher's name to convince people to part with their money and personal details.

An email from the scammers addressed to the so-called beneficiary of Sir Denis' last will and testament, claims that the recipient will receive £950,000 in compensation for helping the "less privileged".

The scammers purport to be solicitors acting on behalf of the millionaire businessman and husband of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher. They request recipients' identification details, such as addresses and phone numbers "in accordance with the government's inheritance laws".

"Using the late Sir Denis Thatcher's name is a sick trick designed to entice the unwary into falling for the scam," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, the company who discovered the scam. "Scammers are constantly trying to dupe computer users into divulging sensitive information with the promise of big money."

The email reads: "We are attorneys and executors to the estates of the late Sir Denis Thatcher, first Baronet and the husband to the longest serving prime minister in British history. He died at the ripe age of 88 yrs (May 10, 1915 — June 26, 2003) we are contacting you because you are listed as a beneficiary in the estates of the late Sir Denis Thatcher. Denis Thatcher was created a Baronet in 1991, styled of Scotney in the County of Kent."

"In accordance with the British government's inheritance laws you are required to forward documents of identification [scanned accepted], present address, telephone and fax numbers to enable easy communication."

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