My kid sister – an Air Force officer who travels quite a bit – was hacked yesterday. Not her military e-mail, but her GMail account. The hacker sent the following message to many people in her address book:
Hi, sorry to bother you at this time but I made a quick trip this past weekend to London,UK and had my bag stolen from me with my passport and credit cards in it. The embassy is willing to help by letting me fly without my passport, I just have to pay for a ticket and settle Hotel bills. Unfortunately for me, I can’t have access to funds without my credit card, I’ve made contact with my bank but they need more time to come up with a new one. I was thinking of asking you to lend me some quick funds that I can give back as soon as I get in. I really need to be on the next available flight. I can forward you details on how you can get the funds to me. You can reach me via email or May field hotel’s desk phone, the numbers are, 011447024065511 or 011447024064567 or on my blackberry at ([email protected]). I await your response…love, Jennifer
I’m sure many of you have received similar e-mails at some point, or know about them, either via your regular e-mail or on Facebook.
My sister sent a legitimate e-mail as soon as she found out about the hack warning her friends to disregard any future e-mails received from that account.
But in the few hours between the hacked message being sent and her warning, our uncle replied to the e-mail. He’s a pretty savvy guy, but this one slipped past his defenses, likely because he knows that she travels a lot and she might have turned to him for help instead of, say, her husband or our father out of embarrassment about being robbed. Don’t know yet if he revealed any of his information to the scammers.
As noted over at Techcraver, this scam is not as obvious as some of the more common schemes:
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.