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Beth Buderus's picture
Joined: 08/03/2007
Posts: 926
E-mail Hoax - money needed for RM Resident

I wanted to warn everyone about an e-mail (hoax) I received this morning. I did call Patty to confirm she didn't need help. She seems to think this was because of her Facebook account, FB contacted her and has shut down her account because it was compromised. But I am not a "friend" of hers on FB. She also has, in the last 5 days, upgrade to Windows 7.  All I can think of is her SBCGlobal e-mail account has been compromised.

Are there any techies out there that know anything more about this....

This is the e-mail I received:
RE: My Predicament

Am in a great sorrow writing you this note,Just wanted to inform you about something very important,i could barely think straight at this point,i hope you come to my aid. Because something very terrible is happening to me now,i need a favor from you now,I had a trip here in United kingdom.

Unfortunately for me all my money got stolen on my way to the hotel where i lodged and since then i have been without any money i am even owing the hotel here.

So i have limited access to emails for now, please i need you to lend me about GBP1500 pounds so i can make arrangements and return back I am full of panic now,the police only asked me to write a statement about the incident and directed me to the embassy,i have spoken to the embassy here but they are not responding to the matter effectively, I will return the money back to you as soon as i get home, I am so confused right now.i wasn't injured because I complied immediately i thank God am still alive and am still with my passport you can get the money sent to my information that is the only way i can receive the money to pay up the hotel bills and return home,through western union transfer or money gram hotel manager information below.

Name: Patricia (deleted her last name)
Address: Portland Street, Greater Manchester
City: Manchester
ZIP Code: M1 4PH
Country: United Kingdom
MTCN Number :

I will be waiting to hear from you since i can't access the internet always
Kind Regards

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Doug Lewis's picture
Joined: 08/08/2007
Posts: 165
Email scams

  Beth variations of this type of scam have been circulated for many years and it seems to develope new techniques as the internet gets more complex.   The prior forms told people that they had won a large prize but they needed money from them to be able to go get the prize and if they helped the prize would be split with them.  Another form said you had won a prize and asked for bank numbers ,soc numbers etc to get the money to you.  Some of these "letters" originate in places like Somalia, Ethiopia and Algeria, or at least they used to.  So it was difficult to track the offender and since the mark of the con gave the info or cash freely, the bank didnt cover the loss. 

When you forward mass mailings like Christmas animations, poems, etc your email info can be forwarded to others that you dont know if your on a friends address contact list and they forward again to their friends.  I have warned friends not to respond to those emails that ask you to tell all about yourself and your favorite things as some of the questions ask things like mothers maiden name, place of birth, your pets name, where you went to school etc.  All info that can be used to gain access into bank accounts.

We had thousands removed from a bank account while in Europe as my wife checked her bank account balance on a lobby computer.  The moral here is NEVER use a public computer to access privte info even with security codes in place!!  Thieves in Algeria were able to access that lobby computer somehow along with others they had breached and pull info from it giving them the history on  sites people had visited getting her banking info.  They then set up other bank accounts (so they had those account numbers) for people they hired to work for them (another scam),  and they would "pay" these people with the stolen funds.  This kept  the thieves names off the bank records.  Of course when the person went to draw out their pay the money had been transferred overseas so a second person was victimized.  Fortunately our bank covered the loss as it was a major investigation and many accounts had been accessed in the banks systems.  So you can see just how much trouble these organized crime groups will go to.

Unfortunately email addresses have become common place on many forms you fill out , for applications, medical records, work and school records, social groups etc.  Security on these records is often lax or non existent.  Remember when our social security cards read "not for identification purposes" .  Now its the first thing they ask your for for ID. 

Doug Lewis


Doug Lewis

Jacque Villa's picture
Joined: 07/11/2009
Posts: 539
Email Scams

Doug, you are spot on.....I always tell folks not to give SS# to anyone except the bank or IRS.  I never give any personal information to anyone least of all anything online....I too, have been solicited for that kind of info but usually delete any emails of that nature. I never list my email address on any forms...I just say I don't have one.  Of course, do not open anything in your emails that you do not recognize...I have had people from other countrys asking me to help them get money into this country for them.....NOT!!!!!  That's how it starts. If you win a prize, you do not have to pay to get it...my husband tells them on the phone, just deduct what I owe and send the rest...and no bank account number is given. He says, just send a check..of course you never hear from them again!!! 

Tis the Season, we must watch our credit cards and who we give the number to. A few years ago, there was a temp working at See's Candies on Folsom Blvd. She ran double tickets and redeemed them after work....she got about $3000.00 before they caught her. I pay cash for most of my purchases and never let anyone take my card away from my eyes. Brookfields had the same type of incident a few years ago....usually this happens around the holiday season.......sad but true.


Beth Buderus's picture
Joined: 08/03/2007
Posts: 926
email Scams

Thank you Doug.  I agree, there are just too many ways for people to steal information these days.  I couldn't believe it when a friend who lives in another state told me that her Driver's LIcense # is her SSN.  How crazy is that!

A good practice for everyone is to remember when you're sending out to multiple e-mail addreses is to BCC the recipients instead of placing them in the "To" secion.  That way the e-mail addresses don't wind up in the wrong hands as the e-mail gets forwarded around and around.  I also delete all the previous headers and personal information...basically clean up the e-mail I am forwarding. 

You're so right, I have received those e-mail questionnaires that ask for your personal information or habits, I never fill them out...I just delete them.

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