Sunday, 14 April 2013

Scam - Lost All Money in UK

Last December I received a weird and interesting email from one of my friends.

Below is an extract from that interesting email:

Hello, how are you?  I do hope that you receive this email in good health.  I am presently in England London with my family for holiday.  Unfortunately, this holiday is turning into a nightmare for us.  I was pickpocketed at Trafalgar Square yesterday.  I was carrying all the cash and travelling cheques with me at that time and this incident leave me and my family cashless in London.

I had made a police report, but the hotel we are staying has detained our passports and will not release them to us unless we settle payment with the hotel first.  

My family desperately need money and I am wondering if you can be of assistance to us.  I need GBP 2,500 to settle the hotel payment.  My family's flight back to Singapore is 2 days later.  Please transfer money immediately over to the hotel account:- XXXXXXX.   I do hope that you understand my family's plight and I'll surely pay you back once we get back home.

Your friend,
Tom (not his real name).

I tried to call my friend on his mobile phone but was unable to get in contact with him.

Next, I need to decide whether the email was genuine or whether it was a scam?  Upon careful scrutinizing the contents of the email, I found it was quite "fishy":

1. My "friend" has not addressed me by name and it look as though the sender did not know who I am.

2. My "friend" mentioned where he was pickpocketed, but failed to tell me the name of the hotel his family is staying.

3. My "friend" could call me direct on my mobile phone if he is really so desperate and does not really need to write email.  Response time for email is definitely much slower than talking on mobile phone.

So, I decided this must be an online scam and ignored the email.

One month later I met Tom and asked him whether his family went to London?  He told me he did not.  This scam could have happened because:

1. He has lost his mobile phone.  Some scammers may have looked into his email account and his contact list.

2. Also, he received an email from a "friend" asking him to click a link for an interesting video.  He foolishly clicked on that link and caused virus infection to his email contact list.

The scammers could hack and access his email contact list either way and mass send scam emails to email addresses in his contact list. 

We need to be vigilant to this type of online traps and scams.


  1. Ya, Mr Farmer, I agreed what you said. this is my 3rd communicate with you thru comment. Sometimes, I may also think whether are you a bad man thru online traps / scams.... happy.kite

    1. Hi, thanks for following my blog. These are my real experience and the lesson learnt is not to literally believe whatever people told us. Sometimes people have good intention and wanted to share but the thing may not turn out favorable (CLOB). Sometimes people show some mis-represented data to lure you. We really have to use our own judgement.

  2. Hallo Uncle Farmer, I think what you wrote is true. Thanks for your sharing. Wish you have a goody week ahead. Healthy and happy harvesting ! Happy.kite

    1. Thank you! Wishing you a successful investment journey ahead.

  3. There are things to consider before investing money. Make sure the website or the organization that you are likely to invest your hard earned money is legit. It's difficult trust someone on the internet specially when money is involve.

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    1. Yes. I totally agreed. Nobody will care more about our own hard earned money than we ourselves.