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Independence Police Alert of Scam E-Mail

Missouri, USA's Independence Police Department is cautioning everyone that they should ignore an electronic mail that has the caption "EMERGENCY" and is dated April 14, 2011. Communitynewspapergroup.com published this on April 15, 2011.

Sent from the account of Correspondent Kim Smith of Independence Bulletin Journal, the e-mail says that when Smith was touring Spain and Madrid, her purse was lost so she requires $3,600 for meeting her transportation expense and clearing the hotel bill.

But Smith soon learnt that someone had actually hacked her e-mail.

Notably, the scam targeted the Bulletin Journal and everyone else in Smith's contact list, including Administrator Amber Hunt with Iowa-based West Village Care Centers and East Towne. Smith instantly realized that the e-mails dispatched were simply a scam. Communitynewspapergroup.com reported this.

Said Hunt that previously his office had one staff member becoming a victim of the scam; therefore at the very outset he tried to locate Smith so he could tell her what was going on.

Meanwhile, security researchers say that the above type of scam is a variation of the "Stranded Traveler Scam."

Typically in 'Stranded Traveler Scams,' first there's the hacking of an e-mail account on a free web-mail service. Then, pretending to be the victim, the hacker dispatches an emergency e-mail to all the e-mail ids stored on the victim's contact list making a plea for financial assistance. The message basically talks of getting robbed as well as tells the e-mail recipient to wire-transfer some cash to an address convenient for the hacker to reach.

And though there's been an increase in "Stranded Traveler Scams," security specialists state these are capable of being averted.

So they suggest users to read the messages carefully and check for any misspellings. Moreover, the friend supposedly getting the scam e-mail should be contacted only over phone and not e-mail since the victim's account has been hijacked while the e-mail of a helper mayn't really reach him. Most significantly, however, no money should be wired except if there's a direct conversation between the helper and the needy over phone to determine whether or not the financial assistance asked for is genuine.

» SPAMfighter News - 4/23/2011

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