Email Scam 20/04/2010

posted 27 Aug 2010, 10:44 by Yateley NW Sec
Alert received from Sue Gibson,  Hampshire Constabulary, Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator.

I would like to bring your attention to a particularly nasty scam which is doing the rounds at the moment and which a member of NW has alerted me too.
This scam caused the member great distress as it told her that a friend of hers was in London (visiting from a different Country), and had been attacked and her money, mobile phone and credit cards had been stolen and that she needed some money to get back to her Country as she was scared here and that she would return the money once home. She said she still had her passport so the member could wire her the money via Western Union and she could collect it.
The NW member knew this lady as a great friend and it was all the more believable as she knew her friend was due to come to the UK for a family funeral.
The member rang the Police and received good advice about what to do in this situation and she continued to try to get her 'friend' to call her or her husband so they could help her.  There was no call - why - because it was not really her friend.  Someone had obtained all the email contacts from her friends computer and had sent 60 emails to her contacts stating the same thing and could they send money to help.
The advice I would like to give is the following:
1) Use appropriate protection on your computer systems as per the manufacturers or reputable computer company guidelines.
2) NEVER open an email if you don't recognise the sender.
3) If you recognise the sender and it is an odd sounding email, try to ascertain through other means whether it really is the sender you know.
4) Ensure no one knows your password on your email account.
These tips will not guarantee you will not be caught out with a scam, however they may help, if anyone has further advice against hackers (as my IT knowledge is not as good as some) then please feel free to contact me and I will happily pass the advice on. As always, if you are unsure please check with a reputable company that deals with computer queries.
In all cases of genuine concern please contact the Police.