Dwight Watt - Newspaper Article #58 6/2/2010

Question: I got an e-mail from a friend in London, what do I do?


You have received the latest type of phishing e-mails. The e-mail comes from the person's address and says they are in London or some other international city and been robbed and cannot make calls from their hotel and cannot get back as they need to pay hotel and their passport is gone and only contact they can do is e-mail.. It requests you send them some amount of money like $1500. The ones I have seen were well written as opposed to the Nigerian phishing and bank imitation phishing.

The person it came from needs to change their password on their e-mail. So notify them you have received that message. They did not send it. If you contact them you will discover they are here in the US probably and may be at home. If they really are a friend of yours you may well realize they would never be in London anyway, but then they may be a world traveler like me and a possibility.

If this really did happen to them they only need to contact the USA embassy and they will get them a passport and work with them to arrange them to return home.

Remember phishing is where someone is sending an e-mail or web page hoping you will give them information like bank account numbers, PINs, SSN, credit card number or other private info so they can clean out your bank account or run large charges on your credit cards. Do not supply this information to places you are not contacting initially and know reputable. Watch the URL (the Internet address) to make sure it starts with an address where you really are shopping.

If you have answered on of these contact immediately your bank and local law enforcement and any other places you supplied account numbers of. If you did a week ago or whenever do this now.

I had one of these messages sent to me this weekend and heard in last few weeks of several people getting them. All the ones I have heard of or seen used London, but I am sure that will change soon.

Enjoy and be productive with the Internet, but practice safe computing.