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Claims of Being Stranded Swindle People Out of Thousands of Dollars
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or "update" your password, PIN or account information. Report any unusual transactions or activity to us immediately.
Imagine that you receive an email from a friend, colleague or family member claiming that he or she is stranded in a foreign country and
desperately needs your help to get home. The email originates from that person's email account, so you may be inclined to believe that the
email is legitimate. However, emails such as these are a scam designed by Internet criminals to trick people into sending them money.
Recently the FBI has received an increasing number of complaints detailing this type of scam. In order to protect yourself, you should be
aware of the details so you can identify these bogus emails and not be swindled out of your money. Remember to always be suspicious of any
email that you receive that asks you to wire money, even if the message appears to come from a friend.
How Does the Scam Work?
The scammers hack into a random webmail account (examples of webmail accounts include Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.). There are various ways
that the scammers manage to achieve this, including phishing schemes. Once the scammers have hacked into an account, they are able to send
emails from that email address. Posing as the victim of the hacked email address, the scammers send emails to all the contacts included in
the account's address book.
How Do I Recognize a Bogus Email?
These emails are false claims about the victim being stranded in a foreign country and in desperate need of money. The messages are likely
to include the hacking victim's full name and email signature. They are also often filled with spelling and grammatical errors.
You may recognize that something is not right. You may know for a fact that your friend has not travelled overseas as claimed or you may
suspect a fraud attempt. The best way to know for sure is to follow up with that friend to verify his or her whereabouts.
Important Things to Remember
Always be suspicious of any email that you receive that asks you to wire money or for your personal information. Make sure your email
account details are as secure as possible, and be wary of possible
phishing scams designed to steal your webmail account details.
If you have been a victim of this type of scam or any other Cyber crime, you can report it to the FBI's Internet Crimes division at their
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