Have you ever gotten a frantic email from a friend about them being stranded in London (or another city) and asking you to send money? That email scam is making its tired way around the circuit again. Here’s an example of one that I received just last week.
“I’m writing this with tears in my eyes,my family and I came over here to London United Kingdom, for a short vacation. unfortunately,we were mugged at the park of the hotel where we stayed,all cash and credit card were stolen off us but luckily for us we still have our passports with us.
We’ve been to the Embassy and the Police here but they’re not helping issues at all and our flight leaves in few hours from now but we’re having problems settling the hotel bills and the hotel manager won’t let us leave until we settle the bills. Well I really need your financial assistance..Please, Let me know if you can help us out? Am freaked out at the Moment.”
Isn’t that the pits? Go to London, get mugged. Wrong. The person’s email address that this came from hadn’t even been traveling, let alone in London.
How to spot the email scam
- Check the sender’s email address, is it exactly the same as your friend’s? If it’s not identical, delete that email immediately.
- If the email address is identical, do a quick check on your friend’s Facebook or Twitter accounts. Have they posted about their trip? If not, be suspicious.
What to do about this email scam
- Delete the email, don’t reply.
- If your friend’s real email address is different from the sending address in the email, contact them and let them know that their account might have been hacked.
How to file a complaint
If you believe that you have been defrauded, you can report scams and cons to the Internet Crime Complain Center.