Don’t Fall For This Sneaky Email Scam From A ‘Friend’
Here's an email scam that could easily catch somebody off guard.
Has this happened to you?
You get an email from an acquaintance - and it might be someone you haven't heard from for a long time. At first, you're thinking, oh it's so nice to hear from this person, but little by little you get the feeling something just isn't right. This is the email I recently received.
HiHow's your day going? I'm sorry for bothering you with this mail, I know this is kind of random for me to ask you. I need a favor from you.I need to get a (iTunes Gift Card) for my Niece, it's her birthday but I can't do this now because I'm currently traveling and I tried purchasing it online but unfortunately, I have no luck with that.Can you do me a favor of getting the Gift card at any store around you? You can get it at any grocery or drug stores around like Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Kroger. I promise to reimburse you asap!Kindly let me know if you can handle this for me. I await your soonest response.Thank you
Don't you think that if this was really from a friend, he would address me by name instead of Hi _______?
In the part where he's telling me where to purchase the gift card, he mentions "Kroger." Some cities have Kroger stores, but not Grand Junction. Nobody I know in Grand Junction refers to the local grocery stores as 'Kroger.' We call it City Market.
As it turned out, the voice message was from the real John Doe, who had received my email reply. This confirmed that the email address used by the hacker was the actual email account of my friend. I had thought maybe it was a fake account. John was a bit perplexed by my message but acknowledged that he had, in fact, been hacked and the fake message had gone out to about 50 of his contacts.
My word of caution to you is this. Whenever you get an email or a text message of this nature and your inclination is to help a friend in need, dig a little deeper and get confirmation that the message is legitimate before you start opening up your wallet - and in the process possibly divulging sensitive personal information.