Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

Email scam

I was surprised to receive this distressing message just now, ostensibly from one of my cousins:
Hello

Am in a hurry writing you this mail, I want to seek your help on something very important and  you are the only one I can reach at this time and I  expect you come to my aid because something extremely terrible and horrible is happening to me now, I need a favour from you, I had a trip to Manchester (UNITED KINGDOM) for a research program.    

Unfortunately for me i was robbed on my way to the hotel where I lodged and the robbers went away with all i had on me alongside with my money, passport, travelling documents and dairy,and ever since then I have been without any money,right now i owe the hotel some money and they are on my neck for their money. So I have restricted access to Internet for now and the phone connections in my room were disconnected due to the bills and right now am so confused and don't know were to go or what to do.       

Please I need you to help me with £1,850 pound sterling today so I can make preparations and go back home immediately because i have to pay the hotel here their bills and get a new ticket to return back home as soon as possible, I have spoken to the embassy here but they are not responding effectively to the matter i cant wait another day down here.

please I will return the money back to you as soon as I get home.       Please I will be waiting to hear from you soon so i will be able to tell you on how to send me the money and keep me in prayers because that matters a lot. Our first priority is safety because I do not feel safe or secured.

Thanks for reading

[Name]
There are numerous clues here to indicate that the message is a fake, the first being that it was sent to me at all - if one of my Irish cousins was really stuck in Manchester, there are at least a dozen other mutual relatives whom it would be more sensible to contact than me. Note also the complete lack of corroborating details (name of hotel, identification of embassy, salutation of recipient). Also my cousin is, as far as I know, unlikely to need to make a research trip to Manchester.

Assuming that my cousin's email address has been hacked, it would be rather pointless to reply to the scam artist - or are these emails simply sent as harassment, without the expectation of pecuniary gain? I have alerted my aunt and my cousin's sister, since they all live in the same town, and suggested that the Gardai also be alerted. Though I guess there is a good chance that the hacker lives a long way outside their jurisdiction.

Edited to add [ten hours later, sorry, I've been busy] the message originated from 41.217.65.4 which is an IP address registered to Zoom Mobile, a telcom company in, surprise surprise, Nigeria.
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