I just received this email today (see below). I hope that none of you have fallen victim to scams such as this, even when the email comes from someone you know.
Unless the person has no family or extremely close friends, why would they be sending a mass email to you and a group of other people you may or may not know? Why wouldn’t they just make a collect call to you or someone else? They don’t have anyone’s phone number memorized?
Think about it.
Don’t reply to the email, just send it to your spam folder and make sure it’s deleted.
Read the email below and honestly tell me if you would have responded with additional questions, believed the plea for help, or not. Tell me what do you see wrong with the email and the wording. What are the red flags?
I really hope you get this fast. I could not inform anyone about my trip, because it was important. I had to be in Manila,Philippines for a program. The program was successful, but my journey has turned sour. I misplaced my wallet on my way back to my hotel after I went for sight seeing. The wallet contained all the valuables I had. Now, my passport is in custody of the hotel management pending when I make payment.
I am sorry if i am inconveniencing you, but i have only very few people to run to now. i will be indeed very grateful if i can get a loan of ($1,850USD) from you. this will enable me sort my hotel bills and get my sorry self back home. I will really appreciate whatever you can afford in assisting me with. I still have some cash in my account but I cant access any here right now, I’ve already canceled my credit card and am at the public internet library where am making use of the free internet access I promise to refund it in full as soon as I return. let me know if you can be of any assistance. Please, let me know soonest. Thanks so much.
Looking over the above email ask yourself these questions?
1. Why would the hotel have his passport? All travelers know that we’re to have our passports with us at all times, like appendages.
2. Why wouldn’t he contact the program and individuals that he was with in the country? The organizers of the program could assist him.
3. Why couldn’t he tell someone where he was going? He said he couldn’t tell anyone in advance that he was leaving the country because he had to leave urgently, as though it was an emergency, but then says it was for a “program”. Well, there’s no urgency in that, and even if it was, that wouldn’t stop a person from informing at least one other person of where they were going, what hotel or location they would be staying, etc.
4. Most importantly, and the biggest red flag of all, why didn’t he just call a family member or friend collect, and request the money? If no one will accept the charges for his collect call then they definitely won’t send him $1,850 USD!
Don’t fall for the okey doke!
Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved. Natasha L. Foreman.