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Flitwick-Based Doctor Struck with “Stranded Traveler” E-Mail Fraud

Fiona Steele, a 70-year-old doctor and resident of Flitwick (Central Bedfordshire, UK), recently, fell victim to hackers who infiltrated the e-mail account she used for personal purposes, stated Bedfordshire-news.co.uk dated June 5, 2011.

Reportedly, the 1st time Steele became conscious about the scam was whilst someone from the Court of Luton Magistrate in Luton, UK, where she served the post of magistrate, called her enquiring whether she was alright.

Actually after hijacking Steele's Google account the hackers sent an e-mail captioned "Problem" to every e-mail address that was listed amongst her contacts.

That e-mail seemed to state that Steele was apologetic for making an unexpected request. But when she was traveling in Valencia, Spain, robbers stole everything she carried like credit cards, cell-phone and cash at gunpoint. The experience was very traumatic and she now required monetary help from the e-mail recipient so she could return home. Continuing further the e-mail stated that the fund must be wired via Western Union, while it also provided the supposed phone-number of the hotel she had apparently put up.

Steel narrated that her phone kept on ringing again-and-again making her rather amazed. Bedfordshire-news.co.uk published this.

Unfortunately, according to security researchers, Steele was a victim of the "stranded traveler" fraud usually called the '419 Nigerian scam' or the advance-fee scam.

Elaborating the mode-of-operation about the above fraud e-mail, specialists on Internet safety observe that scammers, attempting at defrauding people into wiring cash, use a false tale regarding somebody requiring help as Steele in the aforementioned instance, because that person lost his money bag due to which he couldn't return home from abroad like Spain in the above-discussed instance. Moreover, the scam would acquire additional creditability incase the e-mail to probable victims came from a known person and that's the reason why the scammers kept on utilizing hacked accounts as in the case of Steele.

Worryingly, these kinds of "Stranded Traveler" frauds are on an increase, especially since people at large worldwide are resorting to online practices for interacting with their loved ones, security specialists remark.

Hence e-mail users require being cautious regarding personal accounts, the specialists conclude.

» SPAMfighter News - 14-06-2011

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