Here, our top tips for fending off the scammers.
"Made a trip to Dundee, U.K., and had my bag stolen from me with my passport and personal effects therein. The embassy is willing to help by letting me fly without my passport. I just have to pay for a ticket and settle hotel bills. Unfortunately for me, I can't have access to funds. I've made contact with my bank, but they need more time to come up with a new one. I was thinking of asking you to lend me some quick funds that I can give back as soon as I get in. I really need to be on the next available flight."
How many would say no to an urgent email request like this one, especially if it came from a family member, friend or colleague? Who wouldn't rush out to Western Union and transfer some cash to the poor stranded victim?
When I received this email from a colleague several months ago, I seriously pondered following through and wiring her money. But something about the missive struck me as not entirely legit – it was written in a peculiar style with odd grammatical errors. It just didn't ring true.
When I found out the purported emergency email from my "fellow worker" had been sent to everyone in the office, I got suspicious. And then the penny dropped – her email account had been hacked and it was a bogus request sent by a bunch of Scottish-based scammers who were waiting at the other end to receive the funds. Nice try, laddies.
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