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Cyren Security Blog

The Cyren Security Blog is where Cyren engineers and thought leaders provide insights, research and analysis on a range of current cybersecurity topics.

Stuck in the Philippines (or wherever)…

Since I started working in the security industry I have trained those around me to be wary of unusual looking emails – even those coming from friends. So I felt glad when a friend (‘trained” by me) forwarded this email which she recognized as a scam.


It’s the usual “traveler stuck in some foreign country who needs money”. The setting this time is the Philippines and the “poor guy” is stuck at the hotel since the manager will not let him leave (!).

Here’s the email text:

“I Hope you get this on time, I made a trip to Manila(Philippines) and had my bag stolen from me with my passport and personal effects therein. The embassy has just issued me a temporary passport but I have to pay for a ticket and settle my hotel bills with the Manager.

I have made contact with my bank but it would take me 3-5 working days to access funds in my account, the bad news is my flight will be leaving very soon but i am having problems settling the hotel bills and the hotel manager won’t let me leave until i settle the bills, I need your help/LOAN financially and I promise to make the refund once i get back home, you are my last resort and hope, Please let me know if i can count on you and i need you to keep checking your email because it’s the only way i can reach you.”

Maybe you’ve seen many examples of these emails – feel free to comment and let us know what countries you’ve seen people “stuck” in. And spread the word – as shown by this example we can all help educate the people around us so that scams like these become less successful.

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