Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

October 8th, 2013:

A Venerable Old Con

I got the email below this morning. It’s similar to messages of this sort that I receive regularly, with the single difference that I know the supposed sender. I say “supposed” because I know damned well it didn’t come from her. Here’s the text, minus identifying characteristics:

Good morning,
I Hope you get this on time, I made a trip to UKRAINE and had my bag stolen from me with my passport and personal effects therein. The embassy has just issued me a temporary passport but I have to pay for a ticket and settle my hotel bills with the Manager.

I have made contact with my bank but it would take me 3-5 working days to access funds in my account, the bad news is my flight will be leaving very soon but i am having problems settling the hotel bills and the hotel manager won’t let me leave until i settle the bills, I need your help/LOAN financially and I promise to make the refund once i get back home, you are my last resort and hope, Please let me know if i can count on you and i need you to keep checking your email because it’s the only way i can reach you.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Ms. Real Person
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This con has been around forever and most people have heard of it, but in case you haven’t, beware. Everything in the contact info is real except for the email address, which will not put you in touch with Ms. Real Person, but the scammer. I checked with Ms. Real Person and she had not yet heard that she was being used in the scam. It’s possible that the mass mailing used many scraped contact blocks to avoid popping up immediately on scam reporting sites.

Scams appealing to greed (i.e, 419/Spanish Prisoner) are way down here, and scams like this appealing to goodheartedness are on the upswing. I’d be curious to see if the same is true for all of you.