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6 Gallium

Anatomy of an email scam

I received an email today, apparently from an old friend.

"How are you doing? I really did not want to disturb you with this but I had no one else to turn to. I am in Madrid, Spain to see my cousin who lives here. He is critically ill and needs family support. He was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia and has been undergoing treatment since. The chemotherapy treatment was going fine until last week when the doctor noticed that the disease has relapsed and the only way he can survive is by undergoing a BMT (Bone Marrow Transplantation). My sister whose marrow matched his has agreed to be the donor and he shall be undergoing the transplant soon at the Hospital USP San Camilla (Madrid). The estimate for the transplant is $12,000. I have already spent approx. $8,500 towards his treatment. I traveled with little money due to the short time I had to prepare for this trip and I never expected things to be the way it is right now, I need you to support me with a loan of $3,500. I will refund the loan back to you by 28 October 2013, if you can help, please let me know. Since I do not know your financial status at the moment, any amount you can afford to loan out to me will be deeply appreciated. Your help and support will give him a chance to live a normal life once again. There is nothing called a small help when the heart giving it is big. Any amount will be accepted with gratitude and paid back after the surgery. Please let me know how much you can loan to me and I will provide you with the details to get the money."

Well, it's a compelling story, particularly since this friend is a physician. It is well-composed using good English. However the lack of a "Dear Joe" immediately raised my suspicions, not to mention the request for money.

A quick phone call to my friend confirmed this was a bogus email, and that his Yahoo email account had been hacked. Be careful out there, folks.


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Reply (1)
4 Beryllium

Nothing new Joe.

A cousin of mine warned me about a similar e-mail he got from a common family member like 4-5 years ago. I never got it though. Her e-mail account had been hacked too. The e-mail was texted the same way but in Spanish. The give away was that she was not in madrid, Spain when my cousin got the mail.


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