Internet fraud is so widespread that British cabinet minister, Jack Straw, set up a special crime squad to tackle it. But know he has become a victim of it himself. It appears his constitutency email account was hacked into, with messages sent to hundreds of contacts claiming he had lost his wallet in West Africa, and was asking them all to send him a couple of thousand euros to help him get home.
None of the recipients sent money, although several phoned his office in alarm. But, says security expert, Graham Titterington, it is no laughing matter. “This is now not just a problem for Jack Straw. This is a problem for all the people on that contact list, that the criminal fraternity, who are very, very well organised will sell these addresses on to other criminals,” he explained. Straw, Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain and Minister of Justice, is playing down the scam, pointing out as it was not his ministerial account and British national security had not been jeopardised.