New Email Scam? "I'm on holiday and I've lost my cash.. passport etc. help me.."

24 replies
I received this email many months ago from somebody on my list (that I recognised) and genuinely thought they were on holiday.. and that someone had stolen their cash and wanted my help.

Fast forward to the present and I receive an email from somebody else on my list who I also recognise... and they sent the same email!

Here it is...

"Hi, Am Sorry for this message because it may get to you as supprise but it's because of the situation of things right now. I want use this opportunity to explain my problem. I was here in London on Vacation with my family but yesterday thing change because i was mugged at hotel we are staying.

The worse of it is that bags, cash and cards and my cell phone was stolen at during the inccident and it's such a crazy experience for us. Now, we stranded here without any money with us and we to need fly back home. Although we are so happy that we are physically ok and our passport still save with us.

We have been to police to make report about the inccident but the best help they could render to us is that they took us to the embassy. Now, embassy have arrange a flight for us which was schedule on 15th of February 2010 but we dont want to wait long anymore before we can get back home.

I have been able to raise some money for the ticket but we are still short of little cash to complete the money and i will apreciate if you can be able to help us out with the little cash that we need. I promise that i will pay you back any amount you can loan me as soon as i get back home. I will like you to get back to me as soon as possible

Thanks you,
Richard Fowler"



What's going on?

-- Adeel




#email #scam
  • Profile picture of the author mikeyman120
    Hey Adeel,
    Sounds like a pretty clever scam. First they sign up to your list. Then they hit you up with the problem they need help with. Its just a new angle that involves more work. Sign up for a list and make a connection with the list owner and then hit them up with some sob story. Since you recognize them there is a small chance you may want to help them. Sounds sneaky but clever. Those damn scammers are getting good aren't they?

    Mike
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    • Profile picture of the author rosetrees
      Lol - scammers will try anything. I run an anti-scam blog - and I've twice been asked for money. Both finished up in the "hall of shame" on the blog. No-one's asked me since then.

      Edit - I just realised the common factor - they were all list joiners. Here they are. I might add yours too - if that's ok with you Adeel?
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      • Profile picture of the author Elle Holder
        This one has been floating around for a while now.

        I got it from one of my clients back in the spring. I was immediately suspicious, because I doubted I would be the person he'd contact for emergency cash. I connected with him, and yep, his entire address book got that email. Poor guy was horrified.
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        This is an online variation of a scam that has been running at rest areas along the Interstate system for years.

        The scammer, usually a youngish woman dragging a small child, will stand by an older model car with the hood open, while a man appears to be studying the engine. The woman will approach people with a sad tale of how they need to get somewhere so her "husband" can start a new job or something, but their car broke down and they need $xxx to fix it. Could the kind, generous victim help them out in any way?

        Over the course of a day, the scammers can make thousands...

        I stumbled over the scam when I still lived in Nebraska. When I-80 was built, the state decided to let the holes left by mining gravel for construction fill with water. Then they built small parks and rest areas next to the ponds, and stocked the ponds with fish.

        I'd been having some luck at one particular pond one spring, when I noticed the same family seemed to have the same breakdown three weeks running. When I mentioned it to one of my neighbors, who worked as a Deputy Sheriff for the county, he said they'd been trying to either arrest or run off a whole band that was operating in the area. Seems that while a pair worked the rest area, the main bunch went into town for petty theft and shoplifting...
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        • Profile picture of the author Moztrix
          This happened to me too - except I was the one who sent it.

          Last year one of my email addresses was hacked. I thought I was using appropriately strong passwords, but stupidly I had used the same one repeatedly and someone either guessed it outright or brute forced it.

          After a LOT of trouble (a week or two and literally HOURS on the phone with Yahoo) I managed to regain control of my email address and found my send box LITTERED with these messages. Obviously the person who hacked it had a ton of fun sending this spam on my behalf, and I was mortified.

          Only mentioning it because you should be aware that the "sender" of the offending message may not always be who they seem - especially if they are using Yahoo, Gmail, etc.
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          • Profile picture of the author Adeel_Chowdhry
            Originally Posted by Moztrix View Post

            This happened to me too - except I was the one who sent it.

            Last year one of my email addresses was hacked. I thought I was using appropriately strong passwords, but stupidly I had used the same one repeatedly and someone either guessed it outright or brute forced it.

            After a LOT of trouble (a week or two and literally HOURS on the phone with Yahoo) I managed to regain control of my email address and found my send box LITTERED with these messages. Obviously the person who hacked it had a ton of fun sending this spam on my behalf, and I was mortified.

            Only mentioning it because you should be aware that the "sender" of the offending message may not always be who they seem - especially if they are using Yahoo, Gmail, etc.
            DAMN... I guess we got to the bottom of it then!

            Moral of the story.. use a password generator to generate a password of at least 10 characters and which contains lots of special characters!

            Adeel
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        • Profile picture of the author Adeel_Chowdhry
          Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

          This is an online variation of a scam that has been running at rest areas along the Interstate system for years.

          The scammer, usually a youngish woman dragging a small child, will stand by an older model car with the hood open, while a man appears to be studying the engine. The woman will approach people with a sad tale of how they need to get somewhere so her "husband" can start a new job or something, but their car broke down and they need to fix it. Could the kind, generous victim help them out in any way?

          Over the course of a day, the scammers can make thousands...

          I stumbled over the scam when I still lived in Nebraska. When I-80 was built, the state decided to let the holes left by mining gravel for construction fill with water. Then they built small parks and rest areas next to the ponds, and stocked the ponds with fish.

          I'd been having some luck at one particular pond one spring, when I noticed the same family seemed to have the same breakdown three weeks running. When I mentioned it to one of my neighbors, who worked as a Deputy Sheriff for the county, he said they'd been trying to either arrest or run off a whole band that was operating in the area. Seems that while a pair worked the rest area, the main bunch went into town for petty theft and shoplifting...
          Ah yes.. you get this same here in the UK too!

          Many times have I been approached in a gas station with people holding onto an empty gas can.. saying they've just broken down... I used to see them there every week.

          Not sure what happended to them now since I don't see them anymore... perhaps they actually spent the money on gas and drove home!
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      • Profile picture of the author Adeel_Chowdhry
        Originally Posted by rosetrees View Post

        Lol - scammers will try anything. I run an anti-scam blog - and I've twice been asked for money. Both finished up in the "hall of shame" on the blog. No-one's asked me since then.

        Edit - I just realised the common factor - they were all list joiners. Here they are. I might add yours too - if that's ok with you Adeel?
        Hey, yes, please feel free to add it!

        Cheers,
        Adeel
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        $1,000,000+ in sales already! Promote #1 software online: SqribbleJV.com
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        • Profile picture of the author rosetrees
          Originally Posted by Adeel_Chowdhry View Post

          Hey, yes, please feel free to add it!

          Cheers,Adeel
          Thanks. Here it is.
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    • Profile picture of the author Adeel_Chowdhry
      Originally Posted by mikeyman120 View Post

      Hey Adeel,
      Sounds like a pretty clever scam. First they sign up to your list. Then they hit you up with the problem they need help with. Its just a new angle that involves more work. Sign up for a list and make a connection with the list owner and then hit them up with some sob story. Since you recognize them there is a small chance you may want to help them. Sounds sneaky but clever. Those damn scammers are getting good aren't they?

      Mike
      Mike, I don't think that's quite it.. because.. earlier in the year one of them (the subscriber) actually purchased something from me.. albeit.. they did refund a week later.. so I don't think a real scammer would actually pay for something in the first place and then wait 3 months to continue the scam?!

      I'm thinking.. their email account has been hijacked...

      Adeel
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  • Profile picture of the author Taylor French
    You can usually call their bluff by offering to actually take care of the problem for them rather than giving them the cash directly. Like in the case of someone who says they need the money for a bus ticket home because they're stranded in a city, you can offer to take them to the bus station to buy the ticket. If they try to argue, you can assume it's a scam.

    Some of them will probably take the ticket and then try to sell it, but most of them will look befuddled and confused and try to argue, so it's easy to spot the scam.

    It's a shame that scammers like this make it hard to figure out who really, genuinely needs help. But I like to err on the side of charity, anyway. I would rather get scammed and potentially help someone than to risk not helping someone who was truly in need. That said, I am careful about who I help. I won't help people who are obviously scamming, but I will sometimes risk helping people who I think might be or might not be.
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  • Profile picture of the author WD Mino
    Hi Adeel,

    Hmmm maybe the person who did it the first time if it worked told others. I don't know if his email was jacked but your giving him the benefit of the doubt so good on ya. I am glad you posted this however because I am the type of person that just may have got taken in . LOL sounds very convincing.

    Anyways thanks a lot for the post
    -WD
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  • Profile picture of the author WD Mino
    Wow. Good call Adeel. This is a rare occasion but Wow.
    -WD
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    "As a man thinks in his heart so is he-Proverbs 23:7"
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    • Profile picture of the author halfpoint
      This has been around for ages.

      It's pretty common in compromised MSN Messenger accounts and also on Facebook.

      It would look pretty legit if one of your friends popped up on Facebook chat saying something like that, wouldn't it?

      Always be aware of these types of scams.
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  • Profile picture of the author Christie01
    I actually had someone pull this on me via Facebook IM. It was a woman that I knew casually, and I couldn't imagine that I would be someone she would contact when she was in trouble. I solved it by politely asking her to confirm her identity by naming the place we had last seen each other. One wrong answer later I was out of there!
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    • Profile picture of the author Suthan M
      Well, this one is damn popular in FB...

      I get hit at least once every month with this one..
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  • Profile picture of the author scottgallagher
    This just happend to us in the past week. A student buys our $600 product, a couple of days later this following email shows up. I've changed the names just in case this is a legitimate student, as they have not refunded---yet.

    we ignored the email as it was supicious. Let's see what happens.
    -----------------------

    Hi, I really don't mean to inconvenience you right now but I made a quick trip to London UK this past weekend and had my bag stolen from me in which contains my passport and credit cards. I know this may sound odd, but it happened very fast. I've been to the US embassy and they're willing to help me fly without my passport but I just have to pay for my ticket and settle some bills. Right now I'm out of cash plus i can't access my bank without my credit card here, I've made contact with them but they need more verification. I was thinking of asking you to lend me some funds now and I'll pay back as soon as I get home. I need to get on the next available flight.

    Please reply as soon as you can if you are ok with this so i can forward the details as to where to send the funds. You can reach me via May field hotel's desk phone if you can, the numbers are, 011447024051751 or 011447024043675 or via my blackberry at XXXXXXX@rocketmail.com


    Thanks,


    XXX
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    • Profile picture of the author Bev Clement
      Originally Posted by scottgallagher View Post

      This just happend to us in the past week. A student buys our $600 product, a couple of days later this following email shows up. I've changed the names just in case this is a legitimate student, as they have not refunded---yet.

      we ignored the email as it was supicious. Let's see what happens.
      -----------------------

      Hi, I really don't mean to inconvenience you right now but I made a quick trip to London UK this past weekend and had my bag stolen from me in which contains my passport and credit cards. I know this may sound odd, but it happened very fast. I've been to the US embassy and they're willing to help me fly without my passport but I just have to pay for my ticket and settle some bills. Right now I'm out of cash plus i can't access my bank without my credit card here, I've made contact with them but they need more verification. I was thinking of asking you to lend me some funds now and I'll pay back as soon as I get home. I need to get on the next available flight.

      Please reply as soon as you can if you are ok with this so i can forward the details as to where to send the funds. You can reach me via May field hotel's desk phone if you can, the numbers are, 011447024051751 or 011447024043675 or via my blackberry at XXXXXXX@rocketmail.com


      Thanks,


      XXX
      The phone numbers are fake a British number would be 044 not 01144
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  • Profile picture of the author folkcare
    Well, I guess sometime it will be for real and we won't realize. It's like everyone's nightmare though isn't to be stranded overseas? But I can see its not for real.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bev Clement
    Adeel, this scam is coming through Facebook, had two people claiming to have been robbed in the UK. The first said they were in London, but the place where they were supposed to have been robbed was in Bristol. The second person, I was on skype to and played the hacker along. It was funny when they said the area of London they were at. It went from central London to the city in less than 2 minutes and then to the outskirts to a place tourists wouldn't go.

    I assume because they saw I was in HK wouldn't know the UK at all.

    Seems that people are being hacked through their gmail accounts and then facebook.
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  • Profile picture of the author JackPowers
    This is an old scam in the real world, one that I suspect has been going on since there has been people travelling. I live in Bangkok and it's not unusual at all to be hit up by some well dressed guy telling you how he lost his passport and everything. Then if you offer to take him to the embassy, he will suddenly have another excuse for not to go. Of course most people, tourist in particular will probably front him $10, which if he does so a few times a day actually puts him in the upper income brackets here.

    Some people will do everything to avoid honest work.
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  • Profile picture of the author Anup Mahajan
    I had read a similar story where someone's email account was hacked and the hackers sent a mail asking for money to all his contacts. His friends actually believed that he was robbed of his passport, money in UK and sent money.
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