Warning over scam email that asks to help stranded traveller
POLICE are warning residents of central Somerset of a scam email doing the rounds.
This week residents have been receiving emails from friends and associates, saying they had been visiting Malmö in Sweden.
Their bag containing their money, passport and credit cards had been stolen and they needed help.
A second variation of the email states that they have lost their wallet and phone, and a hotel has taken their passport custody, until payment has been made.
FREE WHEATGERM WITH EVERY POND HEATER www.blagdon-water-gardens.c...View details
Protect your pond fish this winter. Purchase the resun 100w pond heater £39.99 from www.blagdon-water-gardens.co.uk and we will give you a pot of Tetra wheatgerm 1l winter fishfood worth £4.99 FREE
Contact: 01934 316673
Valid until: Friday, February 28 2014
Both the Glastonbury Food Bank in Glastonbury and a number of private email addresses have been used to send out the email.
But, in all cases, the sender is actually safe and well at home, and their email account has been hacked and the password changed.
In most cases, the owner of the email account has received an message falsely claiming to be from their email provider, asking for their user name and password because of problems opening emails.
Ros Smith from the Glastonbury Foodbank hurriedly emailed all her contacts to let them know she was actually safe and well, and still in the UK.
"I'm safely in Glastonbury, so please ignore any messages to the contrary," she said.
The con is a variation on the internet crime known as a '419' scam that have cost victims thousands of pounds.
Internet security site net-security.org says that although the scam is a convincing one, there are a few things people can look out for:
The "To" field often contains the same address as the "From" field as the scammer has BCC-ed the entire contact list.
No personal touches in the email
You may not be a close friend with the supposed sender, perhaps merely acquaintances.
It has been estimated that internet scams in which criminals use information they trick from gullible victims, and commonly strip their bank accounts, cost the United Kingdom economy £150 million per year, with the average victim losing £31,000.
For more information, visit www.hoax-slayer.com/stran ded-scam.shtml.