Monday, March 01, 2010

Email scams with a new twist

Be on the look out for email scams (like the one below) that are more cunning than the types you may have been used to. I got this email scam from a person whom I had seen in public meetings before and had received an unsolicited email trumpeting his views on Ethiopian politics but with whom I never had a personal communication with.
Sorry I didn't inform you about my trip to the United Kingdom, I'm presently in Scotland and am having some difficulties here.I misplaced my bag on my way to the hotel where other valuable things were kept including my passport. I will like you to assist me with a loan of $2,500 to sort-out my hotel bills and to get myself back home. I will appreciate whatever you can afford to assist me with and I promise to Refund the money as soon as i return.
I was surpised to get the email, but I figured it was some kind of a hoax and clicked the spam button on it. I did not think too much of it until a few weeks later when a friend of mine forwarded to me a very similar email he had received from a person that he knew very well. My friend almost fell for the scam. Lucky for him, he got suspicious after a brief communication with the perpetrator and saved himself from being a statistics in internet crime.

What makes these scams dangerous is that these scam "artists" want their victims to think that the email they have received has come from some one they know or are familiar with. It seems to me that these email addresses are harvested from bulk emails, such as funny bits and news links, that friends and acquaintances send to one another. So, beware whom you include in your "Send To:" list when you send those innocent emails, because they may come back to haunt you. Keep your guards up and don't fall for these scams.

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