March 8, 2010

phishing warning

i just received an email from one of my best friends, and it is a clear phishing scam. i thought i'd take the time to warn others.

on my computer is shows as coming from his gmail account (the one i'm used to seeing), but on my blackberry it shows that it's actually coming from a yahoo account (probably a fake one they set up to look like his gmail).

Subject: My Predicament..

I'm writing this with tears in my eyes,my fam and I came down here to London,England for a short vacation unfortunately we were mugged at the park of the hotel where we stayed,all cash,credit card and cell were stolen off us but luckily for us we still have our passports with us.

We've been to the embassy and the Police here but they're not helping issues at all and our flight leaves in less than 3hrs from now but we're having problems settling the hotel bills and the hotel manager won't let us leave until we settle the bills.

Am freaked out at the moment.

[My friend's name]

it should be obvious to anyone that this is a scam, but since it comes from a trusted source, it's trickier than usual. also, you can't report the sender as a spammer because they're using your friend's account to send the spam. beware!


Aviva said...

Thanks Anneke! i got it too, but didn't open because of your warning. you rock.

Danny said...

anneke, this is too easy. One thing at a time.

First, why would anyone say "we came down here to London,England"? No one in America would describe London as "down there." I'm going out on a limb here and guessing that, out of all the places your friend could be based, he doesn't live in the Northern U.K.

And if your friend really is British, he wouldn't be carrying a passport on holiday to London.

Someone who's been mugged could go to Embassy of the United States pragmatically to get their passport issues settled or work out legal trouble, but it would be absurd for a person really in this situation to expect the consulate to fix their missing credit card or cell phone. The person who wrote this email neglected to put himself (or herself) in your friend's shoes when imagining this scam.

Also, if you got this email around 8 in the morning your friend is writing during the early evening, London time. His flight is scheduled to leave sometime before 9 pm, 3hrs away. If he were taking this short vacation up to today, which is Monday, he would have checked out of the hotel that morning (around 11 am, if this is a normal hotel). No one would reserve a room for that extra half a day. Therefore, the bill would have been settled when he checked out, before he got mugged.

Anyway, I hope you'll send the author my feedback.

-- Danny

anneke jong said...

also, i'm pretty sure my friend (like every other educated english speaker) puts spaces after commas.

Zoe said...

Hahaha! I hate poor grammar.

Kate said...

I got this from pseduo-Luke too, haha. Maybe this is Luke from the future just like on Lost and that he's time traveled off an island and we need to go save him! Sorry... I've just sped through three seasons of Lost in the past week on Hulu. It's consumed me.