Don’t fall for this travel scam

I just woke up to this email (below) in my inbox. Crooks are out with another travel scam, where they hack someone’s email account and send a cry for help to all of their contacts. I’ve received similar ones before and it really irked me when I later learned that one of my friends had fallen for it and wired money. If you get one of these emails, the best thing to do is delete it and then call, Facebook message or use your friend’s alternate email to alert them. Chance are they  have no idea they’ve been hacked so they will appreciate you alerting them. Be sure to tell them to change their password ASAP.

P.S. I X’d out the last name in the email for obvious reasons.

Has this ever happened to you? Leave a comment below and share your story.

From: Sara XXXXXX [mailto:XXXXXXXX@yahoo.com]
Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 4:19 AM
To: johnny@johnnyjet.com
Subject: Awful Trip……….Sara XXXXXXX

I really hope you get this fast. I could not inform anyone about my trip, because it was impromptu. I had to be in Manila, Philippines for a program. The program was successful, but my journey has turned sour. I misplaced my wallet and cell phone on my way back to the hotel i lodge in after i went for sight seeing. The wallet contained all the valuables things i have. Now, my passport is in custody of the hotel management pending when i make payment.

I am sorry if i am inconveniencing you, but i have only very few people to run to now. i will be indeed very grateful if i can get a loan of $1,800 from you. this will enable me sort our hotel bills and get my sorry self back home. I will really appreciate whatever you can afford in assisting me with. I promise to refund it in full as soon as I return. let me know if you can be of any assistance. Please, let me know soonest. Thanks so much..

Sara XXXXXX

SCAM

Comments

  1. Yes, we receive a very similar email message often from people in our contact list whose accounts have been hacked. Delete.

  2. Unfortunately this is happening more and more and people do still fail to see through the lies ( some of these emails seem very convincing). The best advice remains to delete and report the message wherever you can. Snopes is also a good place to verify if there is a scam running .

  3. Anonymous says:

    Usually the poor english is a giveaway. Read it carefully and almost always you can tell they are bogus.

  4. This seems to happen mostly to people with “yahoo” addresses. Since changing to “gmail”, I’m seeing dramatically less spam and, so far, no hacking (been with gmail two years).

  5. Hey, i just received one of these from a hacked yahoo acct… it’s up to $1950 now :-)
    The curious thing, the email contains no links or malicious code of any kind — so how am i supposed to send the scammers the money?

    • By replying and discussing with your “friend”, only then they would give you some payment details. Alternatively, you can call your friend (despite any claims that the phone is lost) and find out he/she is not travelling and has no such needs.

  6. friend of mine just got one of them mails, the poor slob who lost his everything needs 2,600$ now

  7. I got this mail for the second time. First time was 2 years ago. It is sent from email belongs to a family member.

  8. He wanted $2000 from me.. I only had $100.. and i sent it..

    Don’t be such a dork like me..

    I wish i had seen this page earlier..

    I’m sad.

  9. Sophia Murray says:

    I got a request like this and answered saying no. I never heard from the friend about it again so I don’t know if it was a scam.

  10. I got one of those emails yesterday, the first part was like above but the second part sounded like my friends so not sure if he was doing the scam the hackers…

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