Ellen Smith for Oak Ridge Rotating Header Image

Avoid the new “friend stranded overseas” e-mail scam

I’ve gotten these messages twice in the past week. The alleged sender is someone who has sent me e-mail in the past and is now supposedly stranded in London and is asking me for money. It looks like a scammer has gotten hold of people’s e-mail contacts lists and is spamming the contacts. My messages were supposedly from people I know only slightly (and the first message was sent to the e-mail address for the whole city council), so I wasn’t fooled, but if they had been from close friends or family the scam might not have been quite so obvious. Here’s today’s version of the scam:

Hi,

How you doing? I made a trip to London (United Kingdom) unannounced some days back,Unfortunately i ,i got messed up in another country, stranded in London, fortunately passport was back in our hotel room. It was a bitter experience and i was hurt on my right hand, but would be fine. I am sending you this message because i don’t want anyone to panic,i want you to keep it that way for now.

My return flight leaves in a few hours but I’m having troubles sorting out the hotel bills, wondering if you could loan me some money to sort out the hotel bills and also take a cab to the airport about (1,650 Dollars). I have been to the police and embassy here,but they aren’t helping issues,I have limited means of getting out of here,i have canceled my credit cards already and made a police report, I won’t get a new credit card number till I get back home! So I really need your help.You can contact the hotel management through this telephone number [deleted],you could wire whatever you can spare to my name and location via Western union:

Name:Harvey _______
Location: [a London mailing address]

Get back to me with the details,would def refund your money once i get back you can count on that,below are the details needed for me to pick up the money with my passport.

MTCN:
Amount Sent:

I await your prompt response.

Harvey.

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