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Old Lady of Brantford Defrauded of $2,500 in Email Scam

Brantnews.com reported on 9th May, 2014 stating that a 81-year old Brantford (Ontario, Canada) was duped of $2,500 on being victim of a nasty email scam.

Brantford Police said that the victim recently received a scam email from an alleged friend saying she'd been robbed in Ukraine and asked for money to pay her hotel bill. The victim tried to contact her friend over telephone but did not receive any answer and so send the desired money through Western Union as per the email.

Next day she received two more emails asking for more money. This time she was able to speak to her friend on telephone and realized that she had been the victim of a fraud and called police. Western Union were contacted by the Brantford Police, but the money order had already been sent.

The police believed that the email contact list of the victim or the friend might have been hacked at some point of time and the fraudster impersonated a known contact and made a story to ask for money.

Unfortunately, 81-year-old woman of Brantford became victim of the notorious "Stranded Abroad Email Scam". It works like: a thief hacks into an email or social networking account and sends a message to all contacts of the victim claiming to be stranded at a different country on vacation. The message asks the contacts to wire money to clear hotel bill (like in the above case), airline ticket or any other travel expense. However Police advises that in case you receive an email and assume it as legitimate, first verify by speaking to the victim on phone (like the old woman did in the above case).

Moreover, it is not just the old lady who has been targeted by such a scam email in recent months because in March 2014, the name of Mike Bolhuis, Private investigator and Head of Specialized Security Services of South Africa, was also exploited similarly by scammers. In that case, the scam email was sent to more than 3000 contacts of his mailing list urging to deposit $3,200 (R43555) into an offshore account via Western Union to "assist" Bolhuis in securing a flight back to South Africa from Europe where he had been attacked and robbed while working undercover.

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