Earlier this year I wrote an article for Oakville.com earlier this year on an on-line scam (Another Scam). I remembered it a few minutes ago when I got the same phishing e-mail from an aunt in California, who unfortunately got mugged on an unannounced surprise trip to Manila.
Of course, my aunt is not in Manila… not that I can reach her right now, but seeing as the text is nearly identical to the one I cited in July. Obviously her e-mail account was hijacked, and the scammers are praying on the goodness of all of her contacts. As I state in the article I have heard horror stories of intelligent people being scammed out of thousands of dollars by this scam.
I wrote my aunt an e-mail immediately – after leaving urgent voice mails at her home, office, and mobile – telling her what she had to do:
Change your e-mail password immediately! (along with all of your other passwords – they will likely have been compromised too).
Send an e-mail to ALL of your contacts and let them know that you are safe, and to NOT send you money.
I do not know if she will get it in time – My aunt is not a very technologically connected woman. On the other hand she is a wonderful woman with a big heart, and I am sure a lot of her friends will be concerned and willing to help. It is because of this that it is so important that I get this message out… tell your friends and family about it, because they could be next.
On a related note, I am glad that I went to the trouble of changing ALL of my on-line passwords yesterday!
English: The Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts in Oakville, Ontario, Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I have been a bad boy. I am usually a monthly columnist for www.Oakville.com, but of late I have been a little delinquent… deadlines being what they are, and I have to find the inspiration. I have, as a result, missed a couple of months.
A few weeks ago I got an e-mail from a fellow resident of Oakville (or at least he used to own a business here… he certainly lives within 50 miles of here. He is not someone I know well, but I certainly know him and when I got an e-mail telling me (and everyone) that he was traveling abroad and ran into trouble, I was suspicious… and rightly so.
The article is called Another Scam: Is your friend abroad really in need? it came about in hopes of preventing my readers from falling victim to this scam. I wish I could remember who it was, but I met someone a month before who actually had been victimized. Hopefully this article will prevent others from suffering the same embarrassing fate.
Read the whole article here, and leave your comments!
Also I am always looking for new ideas for the column, and would love to hear your thoughts! Remember, it should be problem-focused and not product-focused… I am, for this column, trying to remain product agnostic.