Monday, June 29, 2009

Beware the lastest email scam

I received a series of emails today from an American blogger that I've been friends with for several years via the internet. These emails claimed that this friend was in London and had all her money and papers stolen. She needed money to pay the bill and buy a new ticket back to the States, where she would refund my money immediately.

No, I didn't fall for it either but I sent her an email to warn her that her ID had probably been stolen. The scammers intercepted that email and a message that I posted on her blog and sent more emails saying "It really is me." I replied to one of them (mistake!) saying she should contact the US Embassy and got an immediate reply that she had tried and they would replace her passport but not cash.

I checked with the embassy myself and this scam is doing the rounds. Don't be fooled - the embassy staff will help any US citizen who is in trouble. What is concerning though is that the scammers can get into someone's email account.

If anyone gets an email purporting to be from me, begging for money, don't reply to it. I promise that it won't be genuine.


  1. I had a French teacher at college who got stranded in France. The embassy helped him.

    They sent him home on a cattle boat, cleaning up after the cows.

    No harm done. We were at Cow College.

  2. m. I didn't sign in as erp because I don't want to cause any more trouble. Sorry about the trouble I've already caused. I had no idea it had gone this far.

    I'm not getting Blogline feeds and will probably have to delete my old Yahoo email account and change a whole bunch of stuff.

    Harry - I am not in need of the services of the American Embassy at this time, but should I ever need them, it's good to know they'll be there for me.

    Word verification was Moses. Very timely as I am in the wilderness without a guide.

  3. e, you don't owe me any apology, you are the innocent victim. I knew at once that you would never write anything with such poor grammar but when the comment to your blog was intercepted I started to get a bit dithery. I surely wouldn't have left you locked in a hotel in London!

    I'm glad you weren't mugged or locked in your hotel room, cut off from all your family. I'd hate to be one of those scammers should you ever catch up with them.

  4. Harry, i always thought you were joking about going to Cow College. Is that really the name of it?

  5. My husband's credit card was cloned in a London hotel. They went on a spree buying electrical goods and would probably have got away with it if they hadn't tried to pay their own Barclaycard bill... The credit card company were great and sorted it immediately. Fortunately that was an end to it.
    A friend had her ID stolen and had a protracted court case to sort it out. It took about 4 years and left her very stressed out. That all came from someone opening a business account using her address.
    Due to working in banking for years I'm very careful to whom I give any information, even things that seem trivial, as a profile can soon be assembled by a good thief.

  6. You are very wise, RattlingOn. I wish I had been a bit more savvy when I started my blog. I naively thought that only the few people I corresponded with on there were reading it and, of course, that their intentions were all honourable. Scary incidents like this make me wonder if I should make some major changes.

  7. m. I don't know what you can do to protect yourself. I'm very careful about opening emails or giving my email address out.

    I've clicked no to Add your blog to our listings? and Let search engines find your blog? in Blogger Settings, yet I've had my computer hacked and one of my blogs deleted and now my Yahoo email account has been compromised. I have the email address of the culprit and I'd love to know how to find him and send him a little something from the sunshine state.

    To give credit where it's due, Yahoo took care of the problem, so I'm good to go with a new password and contact email.

    The first time I used a computer about thirty years ago, I was advised to backup frequently. It's still the best way to protect yourself.


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