Scam: Help! – I’m stuck in Valencia and need some money

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This is not a new scam.  But we wanted to add our recently received examples to the many already published all over the Internet simply to increase awareness.  These scams are clearly successful since a percentage of those approached are not aware of the scam and will actually send the money that has been requested.

The scam works like this:

  • A legitimate email account is compromised – via phishing or perhaps the account details were stolen as part of breach of some well know company
  • The scammer sends emails to all the contacts of the stolen account.  The email content:
    • The “friend” is stuck in somewhere overseas
    • They need money since their valuables were lost/stolen
    • Please help (with an amount of money that seems reasonable)
    • Please don’t alert their family since it will cause embarrassment
    • Signed by “name of friend”
  • The wired money is picked up by the scammer.

Text of the email:

Hope you get this on time? Sorry I didn’t inform you about my trip to Spain for a project, I am presently in Valencia here in Spain  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. presently my passport and my things are been held down by the hotel management pending when i make payment.

I need you to help me with a loan of (€2,800 Euro = $3,750)  to pay my hotel bills and to get myself back home. I will appreciate whatever you can afford to assist me with, I will refund the money back to you as soon as i return, let me know if you can be of help and I will email you the details you will need to send the money.  I don’t have a phone where i can be reached. I am so confused right now.  please let me know immediately so I can email you the details you need to help me out.

All you need to make the transfer is my name and the present country where I’m now. The details below will be needed for the transfer at any western union office/outlet.  You will have to email me the money transfer control number [MTCN],The sender full name,The exact amount sent on the receipt after the transfer.

DETAILS NEEDED FOR THE MONEY TRANSFER..

Name:    Ran ——-
Address:  Avenida Cortes Valencianas 52, 46015 Valencia, Spain

Thanks for your kindness. Please get back to me via my email aso soon as you can. I will expect your response soon.

Your help is much appreciated,

Thanks,
Ran ——-

Another example is from a friend “stuck in Edinburgh

Hello

I’m sorry for this odd request because it might get to you too urgent but it’s because of the situation of things right now,I’m stuck in Edinburgh Scotland right now,I came down here on business/seminar , I was attacked on my way to the hotel I lodged, although I wasn’t hurt because I complied immediately but my mobile phone and luggage were stolen. My Credit Cards and some other vital documents were inside my luggage. I have called the credit card company and blocked all my cards and I have also been to the embassy to report the case but the authorities are not being 100% supportive ,the good thing is that I still have my passport but don’t have enough money to get my flight ticket back home. It’s such a crazy experience for me that made me feel powerless. I want to confide in you and I want it confidential between us because I don’t want my family members or other friends to know about this. I need you to loan me the amount of ($1,500.00 USD) to flying back home, Aside that, I need to sort out some vital issues including my bills., I will reimburse you with interest upon my arrival back home.
Since I cannot receive money via my bank account here, you can send me the money into my western union account via the western union money transfer service. The
western union money transfer service is available in any banks or you can simply search for the nearest outlet on their website [www.westernunion.com].
All you need to make the transfer is my name and the present country where I’m now. The details below will be needed for the transfer at any western union office/outlet. You will have to email me the money transfer control number [MTCN],The sender full name,The exact amount sent on the receipt after the transfer.

DETAILS NEEDED FOR THE MONEY TRANSFER..

Name: ——- ——
Address: 25 Palmerston Place, Edinburgh, EH12 5AP, United Kingdom

I will appreciate whatever you can afford to help me with and I promise to pay you back as soon as I return home.
Thanks for your kindness. Please get back to me via my email also soon as you can. I will expect your response soon. I will also need your phone number so that i can give you a call with the public phones.

Many thanks in advance.
—–..

 

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