Boycott Watch  
January 25, 2010
New Email Scam - Hack An Email Account And Ask Friends For Money
Summary: If a friend asks you for money via email, make sure it's the real person and not someone who hacked their email account before sending money.
   A new email scam has emerged. People hack into accounts and then email all the contacts with requests for emergency money. Naturally a friend will want to help a friend, and thus the way the scam works. The following is a sample of an actual email in that scam:
Quoting (Name Withheld) <>: Hi, I really don't mean to inconvenience you right now, I made a little trip to UK and I misplaced my passport and credit cards, please I know this may sound odd, but it all happened very fast. I need to get a new passport, and get on the next available flight home. I've been to the US embassy, they're willing to help, but I'm out of cash and I have minimum access from here. Can you loan me some money and I'll be willing to repay you as soon as I get home. Please reply as soon as you get this message, so I can forward the details as to where to send the funds, you can try reaching me on this number for now, +447024035615, I also have an ID to pick the funds up if sent via western union through walmart. (Name Withheld)

    In this case, the email was sent to Fred Taub, the President of Boycott Watch who saw something wrong and as a test, replied asking a personal question that only the real email account owner would know the answer to, and in response received the following: follows:
Please set the question on the Q and A section when sending the funds, if I don't answer the question, then I can't get the funds. I'm sending this from a mobile, so I can put in as much as I want to. If the funds is coming to my name, I can only pick it up with my Identity. Awaiting your response. (Name Withheld)

    The response and grammar were all wrong; clearly indicating it was a fraudulent email. Had the email been legitimate, so would be the response. Checking the phone number at indicates the number was suspicious. We have added a complaint about that number at the website and will be forwarding the information to the FBI. There is a lesson to be learned here. Do not take requests for your money lightly. Ask questions, even from people who appear to be friends, and verify the request. Even then, make sure you know exactly who you are sending your money to. People can take email lists from the CC line and create similar email addresses too, then request money from a seemingly right email address, because that too can be copied. It's your money. If someone wants some of it, ask questions. Your friends will appreciate you being careful and if not, they are not your friends.


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