20131220 Dear Google – please act on this identity fraud and potential terrorist financing

Dear Google

My name and e-mail address have been used in a fraudulent spam campaign which, it is foreseeable, might also relate to the financing of terrorism.

The perpetrator claims to represent an employment agency promoting a position in the UK. The e-mail bears all the hallmarks of being a scam or a money laundering scheme. For the avoidance of doubt, the fraudster did not access our systems and did not “hack” my e-mail. He simply used my name and e-mail address as the “from” fields in mail sent from elsewhere. It’s not the first time it’s happened and there is no doubt it won’t be the last.

The fraudsters have used my e-mail address as the “from” address in their campaign: I know this because mails are bouncing back to me.

This is a fraud (it’s what you Americans insist on calling “identity theft” although my identity has not been stolen, it’s been replicated: the correct term, if you are interested).

The fraudulent e-mail is below.

You will notice that the fraudster wishes to collect information into an account which you provide, hr.manager.outsource@gmail.com.

Therefore you are now on notice that your continued provision of this account facilitates the commission of an offence. It is possible that this fraud is connected to the financing of terrorism in which case this is a matter of national security.

Banks and others are required to monitor hundreds of millions of transactions per day to identify the risk that an account is used for criminal purposes. Here we have direct evidence that this is so but you choose not to assist society in this menace.

You should immediately close the account hr.manager.outsource@gmail.com. You should also issue a system message to everyone that has written to that address informing them that you have identified it as a fraudulent account and that revealing their personal information via that account may have created a data or personal security problem for them.

You should identify where the account was opened and accessed from and pass all relevant information to the authorities, along with the address to which any mail sent to this account was forwarded.

It is within your hands to take steps to reduce the incidence of fraud perpetrated using your service. You are providing a service which is easily foreseeable can be used for the provision of material support to terrorists and is a medium widely used for lesser crimes. It is imperative that you adopt systems and controls to reduce the incidence of such behaviour.

It’s not rocket science to develop systems to monitor abnormal patterns of behaviour on e-mail accounts, even without “reading” the content. But if you think it does need a rocket scientist and would like some help, we have one of those plus a shed load of other experts that, after decades of specific relevant experience, understand patterns of suspicious behaviour in ways that others don’t even dream of.

Addressing the abuse of on-line services should be a priority for all businesses but even more so for a company like Google that promotes social and corporate responsibility as a factor that differentiates itself from the herd. Then again, perhaps other companies delivering similar services will be excited at the chance to get a jump on Google in this area.


Nigel Morris-Cotterill
The Anti Money Laundering Network.


Fraudulent e-mail –

Hello Dear Candidate,

Based on your CV that we received from a staffing agency, you might be a good fit for this job opportunity.

We are a small independent company located in United Kingdom. The main field of our business is IT outsourcing services, including the search of clients for potential employees and matching the most ideal candidate for each company’s request. This critical and innovative part-time position is home-based and has flexible schedule.

The primary role of this position is to provide fast and high quality services to the Company and its customers, but it’s not related to sales.

The monthly compensation range for the position is GBP 1,500 to GBP 4,500 and will depend upon your personal qualification and desire to learn and earn.

New employees are hired on a 30 days probationary period and work part-time. After the successful probationary period you may be hired full-time according to the recommendations of your personal supervisor.

Those interested in this position may apply by submitting a letter of interest to hr.manager.outsource@gmail.com.

To expedite the communication process, please fill in the required information below:

Forename: _____________________
Country of residence:______________________
Contact phone:________________________
Preferred call time:_____________________


Damian Bishop