Scam warning – Your friend did not lose their wallet!

Imagine sitting at home and getting a desperate email from a friend asking for help after they lost their wallet on an overseas vacation.

The email address matches that of your friend, and the request sounds legitimate. But before you start sending them cash, be aware that you have probably just become the potential victim of a scam.

It’s the newest craze on many web based email sites (mainly Hotmail). The scammers hack their way into the email account of your friend, usually by guessing their password, and start sending out the “cry for help” to everyone in the address book. Eventually they’ll run into someone who falls for the trick and sends cash using a wire service.

The emails almost always start with “i misplaced my wallet on my way to the hotel” and you’ll notice that they don’t address you directly by your name.

So, if you get an email from a friend in need, call them, make sure they are OK, and let them know that their email account has probably been hacked. Let this also be a reminder that “password” is not a sufficiently strong enough password for your email account.