Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

It Should Be Obvious, But...

If you get a gramatically-mangled e-mail from someone you know claiming that s/he is traveling somewhere, lost his/her wallet, and needs you to wire money to him/her right away, the default assumption should be is that person's e-mail is not his/her own any longer. I'm not saying someone stuck in a situtation like that might not do something of that nature, but it's somewhat unlikely.

Why do I say this? I got an e-mail today purportedly from someone I know making such a claim. I forwarded it to a friend of the person to say, "I think so-and-so's e-mail address book has been hacked." As I expected, the "traveler" isn't traveling anywhere and knows nothing about being stuck some place needing an urgent wire transfer.

I wonder how many people this particular scam will catch. It doesn't even sound terribly original to me, but maybe I'm just cynical. Heck, if my mother got an e-mail from me begging for emergency money because I was (say) stuck in London without my wallet, it's sufficiently plausible that she could be taken in. (No offense intended, Mom! I know you read this sometimes.)

Note to the person affected, or others nearby that person: I deliberately filed off the identifying information about the story before posting it here. No criticism of you is implied at all -- anyone could have it happen to him/her.

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