A friend in need is a scam indeed

Here is a variant of the “friend in need” email scam that has been forwarded to me by a friend:

As mentioned before, there are several things that indicate that this email is a scam:

  • The “To” field contains the same address as the “From” field – obviously, the scammer has BCC-ed the entire contact list and put the compromised address in the “To” field to get confirmation that the email was sent or didn’t know how to make it look like it was empty
  • No personal touch in the letter
  • My friend and the supposed sender are not that close, merely acquaintances.

Also, a huge tip-off that this email is a scam: both the sender’s and the recipient’s native language is not English and they never speak it among themselves!

My friend told me he had notified this acquaintance by phone and that other recipients of the email have done the same. He cannot access his email account and has to change the credentials of many accounts that use the email address as the username, not to mention sweep his computer for keyloggers or other information stealing malware.

Also, this situation made me think and realize that we will probably soon witness scam emails that take advantage of this “Iceland volcano erupting” situation and will try to claim that your friend has been stranded in the UK because of the lack of flights and has run out of funds, so would you please send some? Thanks!

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