Today, I got this e-mail from a friend.
I’m writing this with tears in my eyes.We came down here to England for a short vacation and i was mugged at gun point last night,at the park of the hotel where we lodged.All cash,creditcards and cell were stolen off me.Thank God we have our life and passport.
I’ve been to the embassy and the Police here are not helping issues at all.They asked us to wait for 3weeks but we can’t wait till then. Our flight leaves in less than 3hrs from now and we are having problems settling the hotel bills.
The hotel manager won’t let us leave until we settle the hotel bills.
you can speak with him through this number +447024086282 OR +447011138267. We are freaked out at the moment.
you can wire the money to me through westernunion all you need is Name
on my passport and location below.
Name: <friend’s name>
Location:105 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4HQ, United Kingdom
I’ll def refund your cash as soon as i get home.
My poor friend! All alone in England with no money!
Oh wait. Yep, that’s right, scam. Someone hacked his e-mail account and sent this to everyone in his address book. Of course, Gmail adds everyone you ever e-mail to your address book, so hundreds and hundreds of people got this message. Having heard about this scam, I recognized this immediately, even before reading the e-mail and realizing this is nothing like how my friend speaks. (Plus he’s unemployed, so I’m pretty sure he’s not on holiday in England.)
So as always, be on your toes for scams, but more importantly, remind your not so tech savvy friends and family about this sort of scam. I can see a lot of well-meaning older relatives falling for this sort of thing.
And remember, change your passwords often!