I received the following e-mail this morning from what I thought was from a friend. It was via her e-mail address but something just didn't seem right. Read on:
"I'm writing this with tears in my eyes, I came down here to London, United Kingdom for a short vacation unfortunately i was mugged at the park of the hotel where i stayed, all cash, credit card and cell were stolen off me but luckily for me i still have my passports with me
I've been to the embassy and the Police here but they're not helping issues at all and my flight leaves in less than 3hrs from now but am having problems settling the hotel bills and the hotel manager won't let me leave until i settle the bills.
I'm freaked out at the moment."
So I respond to the e-mail half way thinking it was her but knowing it could be a scam, too. I offered my help and another e-mail came back once again using the friend's e-mail account:
"Thanks for your quick response I still need help, I have nothing left on me right now and I am lucky to have my life and passports with me it would have been worst if they had made away with me passports.The name of the Hotel is Royal Garden Hotel and you can call me now +447024074504
Well all I need now is just $1,900 you can have it wired to my name via Western Union i'll have to show my passport as ID to pick it up here and i promise to pay you back as soon as I get back home. Here's my info below
Name: Friend's Name was here.
State: London W10 4AH,
Country: United Kingdom
As soon as it has been done, kindly get back to me with the confirmation number. Let me know if you are heading to the WU outlet now???"
After this last e-mail which doesn't even look like the friend would write I telephone her before doing anything. My call to her confirmed that she was not in England but at work in the Bay area and was blown away by this whole deal.
The thugs had taken over the friend's Yahoo e-mail account and she can no longer access it. I also learn that the first message was sent to everyone in the friend's address book. Hopefully no one takes the bait.
There are all kinds of predators in this world just waiting to hurt any one of us in so many different ways. What a world we live in.