Friend In Distress Scams...

 

Friend In Distress Scam

 

If a friend or family member was in trouble and needed help, most of us would try to do what we could.  Well, there's a scam going around that capitalizes on that to try to steal your money.  There has been a rash of emails received by people that appeared to be from a friend or family member who was in trouble.

The e-mail states that the friend or family member was in the United Kingdom for an urgent situation and got robbed.  All of his valuables, including credit cards, were stolen.  They say they are sending the e-mail because the phone lines at the hotel had been cut, so they could only get access to e-mail.  They then ask if the friend or family member getting the email could wire him some money via Western Union to help them get back to the United States. 


The messages at first appear to be legit because they come from our friends and family member, but after the messages are read they appear to be odd, especially because the message often is written using broken English.  What ends up happening as that our friendís or family memberís  e-mail address book has been hijacked by a virus and the scammer behind it was sending the same e-mail to everyone in it to try to get money.

This is known as the "Friend in Distress" scam.  Be wary of messages from strangers or even friends that give a link directing you to another Web site.  Before wiring any money to a friend or family member in a jam, try to contact them by phone to confirm the situation.  You could also respond by e-mail with a question only the friend would know the answer to.  And make sure your computer's operating system and anti-virus and firewall software are up-to-date so you don't become a victim of the virus.  If you get a phony distress call e-mail described above, Don't Fall For It!