A nasty new spin on the Inheritance email Scam
We're all probably familiar with the email scam running, "You don't know me, I'm the widow of a rich person in Africa who wants your bank account number to entrust you with millions of dollars". Over the past few days, a friend of mine has been the victim of a new wrinkle. An email from her MSN account, the one in my address book, said she was stranded in Africa on an overseas-aid trip, having lost her purse, and please send money to pay the hotel bill and flight home. The message sounded somewhat plausible given that my friend is the kind of person who would volunteer for a helping trip to Africa, and it sounded similar to the one recently made by Karin Hansen and a delegation from Mayor Potter's office.
Suspicious but concerned, I replied, saying, "Is this really you, [name]"? I later called her work number, and heard a message saying she was stranded at home due to the weather, rather than in Africa. So I didn't worry any more about it. Then today, I received a reply from her MSN address, saying "Yes, it's true, please send the money, I'll pay you back." So I called her work number again. Still stranded due to the weather.
Later, she called me and we talked. What a nightmare - she's had to change her email address and must pay someone to get the virus out of her computer.
I am also concerned because I replied to her old email address, and received a response presumably from the Evil Person. Evil Person therefore knows my email address, too. So if you get a message from me, or anyone else you know, asking you to give the sender your bank account number, don't. And don't reply by email, however plausible the message might be. Learn from my mistake.