You’re probably used to receiving poorly-worded emails from fraudsters trying to scam you out of thousands of dollars. These faux emails often claim to originate from friends or relatives who are overseas and in need of money. Most readers are immediately tipped off by the poor wording – since many of these scams originate overseas. Recently, though, one cybercriminal went much further in his scam email – hitting the victim a bit deeper than most fake email scams.
On the first of October, Julie Burkhart-Haid of New York began receiving concerned calls from friends and relatives all over the country. All of them had received the same email message, purportedly from her. As the Hudson Star Observer reports, the email started off as most faux email scams do – explaining that Julie had taken a trip overseas and was now stranded and in need of cash after being robbed at gunpoint. The email didn’t stop there, however. In fact, it went on to detail her injuries, and even said that she had nearly been raped in front of her son. According to the email – which identified her son by name – they were still being treated for the supposed injuries. The email concluded by pleading for $1,800 to cover hotel stays and plane tickets to return home.
Though this type of scam email is certainly nothing new, the level of detail in this case is quite surprising, though pershaps it should not be, as cybercriminals today have access to intimate details thanks to Facebook and other social networks. In fact, that’s likely how the criminal discovered Julie’s son’s name and other personal information about her. All it takes for someone to craft a scam email is to hack into an email account and write a convincing letter.
You’re probably used to receiving poorly written emails from hackers, but an email like this would probably catch you off guard. By taking things to the next level, these scammers hope to fool more victims into sending them money. Don’t fall for this latest trick.