New Phishing Scheme: Hi, I’m Stranded In London and My Bag Was Stolen

Phishing Alert – Please Take Notice

Early this morning, I received an email from a high school friend of mine. The person, who I speak to every 3-4 months, was supposedly in London and her bag had been stolen.

Thankfully, I’m buddies with this person on Facebook, and I know because of her status messages that she was recently at her home in a neighboring state. I messaged her via Facebook and found out she was perfectly fine.

Apparently someone had hacked into her Hotmail account and sent the message to many people. Because I’m aware of these types of phishing schemes, I was certain when I read the message that it was fraudulent. However, the mail is pretty convincing – there are no references to transferring money to Nigeria or other telltale Phishing signs.

The message here is to constantly stay alert and be skeptical of such emails. Phishers and hackers are getting smart with their methods and techniques of scamming us.

Note, my friends name has been changed in this pasted email, to protect her identity.

I’ll paste the full email below for everyone’s reference:

Hi, I really don’t mean to inconvenience you right now but i made a quick trip to London,UK this past weekend and had my bag stolen from me in which contains my passport and credit cards. It happened real fast leaving me document less & penniless right now. I’ve been to the US embassy and they’re willing to help me fly without passport but I just have to pay for the ticket and settle the Hotel bills i resided at. Right now I’m out of cash plus i can’t access my bank without my credit card here, I’ve made contact with them but they need more verification which could take more time for me wait. I was thinking of asking you to lend me some funds now and I’ll give back as soon as I get home. I need to get on the next available flight.

Please reply as soon as you can if you are alright with this so i can forward the details as to where to send the funds. You can reach me via email or May field hotel’s desk phone, the numbers are, 011447024043675 or 011447024051751 or instant msg me on my BB: shelly_smith@yahoo.com

I await your response…
Thank you

——————— Shelly Smith Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. -John F. Kennedy


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27 Comments Permalink
27 comments on “New Phishing Scheme: Hi, I’m Stranded In London and My Bag Was Stolen
  1. Thanks for posting this. I received this email from a friend and was suspicious. Your post confirmed that it’s a scam!

  2. I had three copies of this apparently from an acquaintance this morning. I was suspicious as the phone number is for a mobile (cell) phone. There is no evidence of such a hotel in London. And the English is appalling. And I would have expected him to have contacted the whole list. My general principle is that any e-mail requesting money is probably fraudulent. BTW, I’ve recently had severe financial problems and if you could see your way clear to sending me a couple of thousand . . . There is a Western Union office near here you could send it to . . .

    ;-)

  3. Haha Digby…if you’re able to find anyone that responds to your request for money, send them my way and I’ll keep my fingers crossed that they’re rich and naive.

    Just received this e-mail today as well. Sneaky little buggers have the e-mail with the sender’s usual signature and everything. The dead giveaway is that there is no way this person would have sent a request for money to me – so I’ve e-mailed her brother to send her the heads up in case she hasn’t been told already. Thanks for the confirmation!

  4. Hi

    BE WARNED

    Not only did these b##@** hack into my email account and send this email from ‘me’ to everyone in my address book, they cleaned my account out as well – emails / email addresses, the lot!!! So I could’t even email everyone to tell them it was a hoax.

  5. I just had this happen to me on Facebook. Someone posed as me and asked any friends whom happened to be online and told them I was stuck in London w/o money because my bag was stolen. They also hacked into my email account and tried to gain access to ebay ect accounts……..What a way to earn a living my goodness…..Watch out and be very leary!!!!

  6. Help! I got hit with this scam via fb I think and no my fb account is disabled, I can’t receive email via my sbcglobal account, and all of my contacts in my email have been deleted. I am po’ed! How can I start receiving emails again?

  7. Two days ago the same terror as described above happened to my husband. He was able to retrieve his account by calling AT&T which helped him reset the password. Once he got the account back he was able to click on recover “deleted contacts” and his address book was back to normal again. These bastards caused a lot of trouble but our friends/relatives are smart enough to no send money to them.

  8. I got one too. What I don’t quite get is, how they plan to actually collect. If I call, do they think I won’t be able to recognize that it’s not my friend? Or is it one of those deals where a huge amount is billed to your cellular phone account and they reap the profit? (There have been several of these in Turkey.)

  9. Pingback: Hooked By A Phisher | Greater Falls!

  10. This happened to me today and the hackers locked me out of my hotmail account. Luckily I had transferred all my contacts to a new email address a month ago and was able to send a msg to them all about this being a spam and not to send any money over. I was wondering if anybody knows how to contact MS to ask them to close/delete the hotmail account forever.

  11. I got the same email today. Though I knew it was a scam, I still gave it 30 seconds due dilligence to make sure it wasn’t truly a friend in need. Thanks for the confirmation!

  12. My wife’s gmail account was hacked this weekend and this exact message was sent to all of her contacts. It happened on facebook also at the same time, and the passwords were changed so she couldn’t get in and fix it easily. A virus scan showed one infection, plugin-tmp/readme-plugin.pdf. A PDF file! Who would think A PDf file could do such a thing, but apparently they can run javascript in your browser and your browser knows all your remembered passwords!

  13. Sept 14,2010 this same thing happened to me. I am now locked out of my hotmail account and can’t find a way back in. I tried stting a new password but that didn’t work. If anyone has an answer contact me at lesliebakr2000@yahoo.com Thanks

  14. I was the target of this scam on 12/21/2010. Is anyone aware of a link to law enforcement that can follow up on these crooks and cramp their style? I had a couple friends that continued to communicate with the crooks and obtained a couple addresses in London. I would be glad to forward the e-mail streams if I knew who would take it seriously.
    Thanks

  15. This happened to me my gmail account hacked, lost 3500 emails and finally got my account back to find all contacts and emails were gone.
    These idiots changed my password, changed my secret questions and answers, so i couldnt get into the account initially, finally google gave me access Then the mongrels had a forwarding addres to a msn account under my name. So check that in your account settings. I don’t know how i got hacked and what a pain arranging a new email account and changing passwords on all accounts like eBay etc.

  16. It’s happening again! I got the “stranded in London” e-mail from a friend here in Chicago. I knew it wasn’t him because the English was TOO good (he speaks French). It’s been reported, but what is the best site for crime-fighters? First Facebook, then gmail, then msn, then Yahoo… who’s next? Please somebody tell us WHERE to report this.

  17. Just got a message on Facebook from a cousin I never really talk to claiming the same thing. I’d luckily heard about these scams and asked a couple questions to be sure- the responses were bot-like and the english appalling. When I called them on it, I was unfriended, which makes me sad. I looked this up to add to the status update I put up to warn our mutual friends. Thanks for posting it!

  18. Pingback: OT: London Calling (NOT!) « The Ancestral Archaeologist

  19. I just got phished but didn’t send money but not before responding. any way to set these guys up for a sting by playing along?

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