The scam email that was sent from my account has been around for a few years. It is called the Emergency in London Scam (at least in some circles).
Still, I was surprised at how many of my dear friends were taken in. (I really appreciate your concern.) I hope no one send the scammer any money. If you did, please contact Western Union and file a fraud report. Since that address has been used for many of these scams, I hope Western Union has blocked it. I know in some cases they refuse to send money to Nigeria.
Scams are different from phishing mails. A phishing email is one that looks as if it was sent from your bank, credit card company, or PayPal. These say that you need to confirm your information. They ask you to send a reply to the email with your account and password information. Sometimes they include more information, such as your social security number and/or birthdate. NEVER reply to these emails!
Always look at the line at the bottom of your browser to see where the email is really going. It may have an address that is close to the supposed sender, but the domain name will be different.
(%%%Domain name%%% is the part right before the .com part).
It’s a good practice to type the names of your financial websites into your browser manually. In fact, most financial institutions will tell you to do so. Anyone can take a logo from the web and use it for their own purposes. Em
Try to contact the person who supposedly sent the email. Most of my friends who thought it was real were ones who I talked with in awhile. They didn’t know my schedule and thought that I might be in London.
Yes, I know some people have online calendars to tell the world where they will be. This is risky for other reasons. Thieves love to know when you aren’t home.
My husband doesn’t usually travel with me, so even when I’m gone, he’s usually home. (Did I mention he is well armed?) In fact, one friend knew that he wouldn’t go to London, so she immediately spotted the scam.
Once again thanks for all the phone calls and email to my other accounts. I appreciate it very much.
I also appreciate Jason Dinner trying to get the guy’s PayPal address. That would help track him down.
I’m surprised that none of the companies involve seem to want what information is available on the scumbag.
Frank Ahern, who specializes in finding people and telling people how to disappear sent him an “FU A**hole” message. I appreciate that too. Maybe I should give the information to Frank.
A large chunk of my email messages were deleted. If you sent me something and don’t hear back, please resend it or leave a comment on the blog. You can reach me at a more secure email address that is listed on my “About” page. (Just remembered I needed to change it.)
I will probably post a couple of more message about this incident (seems too mild a word), and then we will get back to the regular writing content.
Please leave a comment with any tips, ideas, or suggestions about how to stay secure on the net. Also, ask any questions you might have.