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Message from London


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Did anyone else receive a message from escort saying he had been robbed, stranded and needed some financial help? Had never hired the escort and did not know him personally, thus did not reply. Just curious if anyone else received similar email.



On a related topic, I used to get those ubiquitous emails from someone in Nigeria who was representing someone else who had left me 20 million dollars and needed me to send my personal information right away in order to "release the funds". For a long time, I just deleted them but I got so many that I decided to play around and started answering them, writing things like "Mr. Sullivan! It's so nice to hear from you again. It has been such a long time. How are the wife and kids? Do you still have that back pain or did the chiropractor I recommended fix it? How's the weather. We're having lovely sunshine. Listen, I'll call you over the weekend with my info. At the moment, I'm really busy. I sure could use that cash. In the meantime, stay well. All my love to you and yours." Soon after sending 5 or 6 similar replies, the emails from Nigeria stopped cluttering up my inbox.

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My father got scammed by one of those "stranded traveller" emails for $200. It was from a friend of my sisters who was "stranded" in London or someplace. He replied, the scammer replied back and tried to up the ante to $500 but thankfully Dad wouldn't. He was shocked when he saw a day or two later at my sister's house, that's when the story came out.

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My 82 year old brother-in-law received a similar telephone call a couple of years ago. The caller claimed to be his grandson stranded in Mexico City and in need of three hundred dollars to bail a friend out of jail. My brother-in-law replied sympathetically and calmly asked the caller what his middle name was. The caller hung up immediately and to this day we laugh about my brother-in-laws great response.

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Stranded in London

Be careful. Your friend isn’t really there and wasn’t robbed at gunpoint




When you receive an e-mail from a deposed Nigerian king requesting help with money, you know it’s time to hit the delete button.


But when such a plea comes bearing a familiar name and e-mail address, there’s more incentive to read the message—and maybe even send off some cash. And apparently some people do, making the stranded-friend scam the hottest e-mail hoax of the summer.


In this ruse, you receive an e-mail supposedly from someone you know saying that he or she is stranded abroad (typically in England or Wales) and needs a quick cash loan to return home, typically requested in the form of a Western Union wire transfer.


The usual sob story: I was robbed at gunpoint and lost everything. This scam actually starts weeks or months earlier, with the hacking of someone else’s e-mail account—not yours. The hacking is usually done in one of two ways, says John Kane of the National White Collar Crime Center, which runs the Internet Crime Complaint Center with the FBI.


Scammers can infect an e-mail user’s computer with malware that logs keystrokes, providing the crooks with account user names and passwords. Typically, the malware is installed invisibly when the computer user clicks on an enticing online link.


Another approach scammers use is to distribute “phishing” e-mails—such as information requests purporting to be from your e-mail provider or bank—and collect passwords and other personal data that allow the hacking. They send millions of phishing messages at a time, “so even if their response rate is a fraction of a percent, that’s a lot of potential victims,” says Kane.


Once they have a user name and password, the scammers sign on, and may change the password—with that, they take control of the account and lock the real owner out. Then they send out a stranded-friend plea to you and other people on the account’s contacts list.


This type of swindle was detailed last year by Scam Alert, but recent activity has triggered new warnings this summer from the Internet Crime Complaint Center, the FBI and others.


Even some of us at AARP have been hit. In the past few weeks, one of my colleagues, his daughter and brother-in-law all got “stranded in London” messages from different accounts. The e-mail account of another colleague was taken over by the scammers.


And I just received one, purportedly from an AARP member with whom I exchanged e-mail some time ago, thereby putting my e-mail address in her contacts list.


source: http://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-07-2010/scam_alert_stranded_in_london.html


----- Original Message -----

Subject: Urgent Response Needed


Hello,I'm writing this with tears in my eyes,I came down here to London,England for a short vacation and I was mugged at gun point last night at the park of the hotel where i lodged all cash,credit cards and cell were stolen off me. I am even owing the hotel here,the hotel manager won't let me leave until i settle the hotel bills now am freaked out.So i have limited access to emails for now, please i need you to lend some money 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 refund the money back to you as soon as i get home, I am so confused right now and thank God i wasn't injured because I complied immediately. I will be waiting to hear from you since i can't access the internet always. Thanks a Million.

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