Tuesday, March 09, 2010


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.


La Roo said...

Wow! I'm so glad you called her. People are such scammers....arhhh it drives me crazy!
An artist friend of our just ran into a similiar scam dealing with his art. Someone emailed saying they loved his work and wanted to commision a piece. It was priced at 7,000,00. My friend went and got all the supplies and started the piece. The dude that emailed said he'd send a registered check to my friend for half the price and money for the shipper that he wanted him to use. Go ahead and cash it, keep the money and send on the cash to the shipper. (I'm trying to shorten the story) Basically, my friend didn't feel right and researched into this (like you did) and realized that this scam is one that is pretty common in the art world. When you cash the registered check , keep your money and send the rest to the shipper(who is part of this scam) they are long gone. It takes the bank about 2-3weeks to figure it's a counterfeit (because they have now perfected this check fraud). My friend talked to the police and let them go ahead with the emails and sending the check. They then turned all that info to the authorities and I don't know what happened, but they were told it is very hard to catch up with these kind of people. Luckily they had some type of uneasy feeling and went with their gut. On the upside, he got a really nice piece of art that he will show at his next opening. :)

Bob said...

It's a shame we can no longer trust our fellow man. There seems to be little left of human civility between one another. Scams. Thieves. Serial killers. Cereal eaters. Sexual predicators. Child molesters. Road rage warriors. Gangs. We have it all.

La Roo said...

Those cereal eaters are the worst!

Bob said...

They're horrible. I look out for cereal killer/eaters while shopping that aisle in the local supermarket. They're everywhere!

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Whiskeytown Lake, Very Northern California, United States