The 'I've been robbed, need cash fast' scam

This scam deals with someone pretending to be someone in your contacts list, trying to get you to wire them money... urgently.
Sorry for any inconvenience, but I'm in a terrible situation. I came down here to Manila,Philippines for a program, last night on my way back to my hotel room I was robbed at gunpoint, my wallet and other valuables were stolen off me, leaving my passport and life safe. My luggage is still in custody of the hotel management pending when I make payment on outstanding bills I owe. I contacted my bank (E-mail) for a wire transfer but it has proven almost Impossible to operate my account from here as they made me understand international transactions take 7 working days to be effective which i can't wait. I need you to help me with a loan to pay my hotel bills and get my self home. I will reimburse you soon as I get back Home. I will appreciate whatever you can assist me with. Let me know if you can be of help. All hopes on you.
Warm Regards,
Because the name and even the sender's email address appear legit, you're less likely to delete it than your standard 419 "send me money and you'll be better off" kind of scams.

However, it's still a full out scam. The first clue is that you're never addressed by name. Also, because there's an empty 'recipient' field, you should think that this was mass-mailed to a bunch of people. I know if *I* was robbed and desperate, I'd try to contact people individually and address them by name, and that's without even getting into the body of the email which is of the standard "no time to explain, just send money quick" variety.

Similar scams have been detailed here, here and here, and some of the advice relayed in those links should apply here.

Don't respond to the email (the scammers will likely then harvest your email address for future attacks or attempted phishing) if possible. If you can, contact the person whose email is being used, to inform them of the situation (by phone if you can, or an alternative email address). Perform your usual anti-virus and anti-malware checks to try to ensure you're not compromised yourself.

No comments: