Today I received an email purportedly from an old friend whom I hadn’t heard from for a few years. The email claimed that they were currently in London, had lost their wallet, and needed some urgent financial assistance.
Hmmm… a “little” odd to receive an email of this nature out of the blue.
At first glance the letter looks genuine enough, except for a few grammatical errors, which were enough to raise my suspicions. Checking the email source code confirmed that the message had indeed been sent from my friend’s email address. However, after examining the message header and using whois to look-up the originator’s IP address, it turned out that whoever had logged-in to her Hotmail account and sent the message was in fact in Lagos, Nigeria!
So it would appear that somehow this person (or more likely persons) have hacked her Hotmail account and very likely are sending this request for financial assistance out to just about every contact in her address book.
So beware! If you receive a message anything like the following, don’t send any money until you verify exactly what’s going on:
How are you doing? Sorry I didn’t inform you about my traveling to the United Kingdom, I’m presently in London and am having some difficulties here because i misplaced my wallet on my way to the hotel where my money and other valuable things were kept. I’ll like you to assist me urgently with a loan of (2,560 pounds)o sort-out my hotel bills and to get back home.
I will appreciate whatever you can afford to assist me with, I’ll reimburse you at my return, kindly go to any western union Money transfer outlet and send the money with the information’s below.
Address:113 Lambeth Road,
City:london Zip code SE1 7LS
Country: United Kingdom
l will appreciate whatever you can afford to help me now because in a terrible situation since the incident.
Anticipating you reply at the earliest to my request.