Have you come across the “urgent request from a friend” money-making email scam? Well, someone is making money with these ones, but it won’t be you. You could lose money if you’re not careful.
The way it works is you receive an email that originates from the real email address of a real friend of yours with “Urgent” or “Emergency” in the subject line.
Even the email headers look correct.
The body of the email contains an explanation about that friend’s trip abroad (they apologize for not letting you know that they went) along with an urgent request for money because they’ve been robbed.
If the language used had sounded more like my friend, I might have been fooled with the first one I received — because the signature used exactly the same script that my friend uses.
Fortunately, the writing in these emails is usually horrible, which should make you stop and ponder the message more closely.
Here are 2 examples.
I am in a hurry writing you this message cause I don’t, have much time on the pc here, so I have to brief you my present situation which requires your urgent response Actually, I had a trip to Africa. yesterday but unfortunately for me all my money got stolen at the hotel where I lodged due to a robbery incident that happened in the hotel.I have been so restless since last night cause I have been without money, I am even owing the hotel here as well moreover the Hotel’s telephone lines here got disconnected by the robbers and they are trying to get them fixed back. I have access to only emails at the library because my mobile cant work here so I didn’t bring it along, please I want you to help me with money.please can you send me 1,500.Pounds To enable me return back I would refund it back to you as soon as I get home, I am so confused right now and don’t know what to do, you can have it sent through western union money transfer with my name and the address bellow.
Name : [friend's full name]
name and the address bellow.
Name : Calvin Brennan
Address is: 30 Leicester Square
City : London.
country : United Kingdom.
zip code : WC2H 7LA.
Thanks a lot for your kindness;
I will really appreciate your quick response.
I Hope you get this on time,sorry I didn’t inform you about my trip in Cyprus for a program,I’m presently in Nicosia 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 kept.I want you to assist me with a loan of 2500Euro to sort-out my hotel bills and to get myself back home.I have spoken to the embassy here but they are not responding to the matter effectively,I will appreciate whatever you can afford to assist me with,I’ll Refund the money back to you as soon as i return, let me know if you can be of any help. I don’t have a phone where i can be reached. Please let me know immediately.
The really sad thing about this scam is that those of your friends from whom these emails originate have just had their email accounts hacked — which for most people is a major hassle.
So, 2 words of warning here. Don’t be fooled by this email scam and don’t let your email account be subjected to a hacker. Change your password regularly!