It seems this problem is mostly affecting Yahoo! users, which
include BT users who are on the BT/Yahoo! service. One of their
mail servers got hacked some months ago and the user email
addresses and passwords where stolen. These are now being used
by criminals for a number of purposes including that described
below. I understood that all those affected by the original hack
were advised to change their passwords. My advice would be for
all Yahoo! users to change their passwords. If you use Outlook
or other mail management program, be sure
to backup your outlook file so that you can restore your contacts
and email history should you lose them. However, I suspect that
the loss of mail archive and contacts data is only happening
to those who use the online we based email service.
A well known scam seems to have taken hold of Bollington internet
users in the past week (end May, early June 2013). I have received
about ten emails perportedly coming from three Bollington residents
all giving me much the same story -
Hope you get this on time, I made a trip to Manila, Philippines,and
had my bag stolen from me with my wallet, cellphone and
credit cards in it. luckily for me i still have my
passport with me, I just have to pay for a ticket and
settle Hotel bills. Unfortunately for me, I can't have
access to funds without my credit card, I've made contact
with my bank but they need more time to come up with
a new one. I was thinking of asking you to lend me
some quick funds that I can give back as soon as I
get back tomorrow. I really need to be on the next
I can forward you details on how
you can get the funds to me through western union
transfer. You can reach me via email, Let me know if you
can be of any help.
Best Wishes, [the person's normal signature
The message is, of course, complete fiction and you should not
under any circumstance respond to it. It is an indication that
the 'sender' has had their email service hacked by foreign criminals.
They will have stolen the 'sender's' contacts list and are sending
out messages similar to the above example to the entire contacts
list. The criminals are using this to try and get others to send
money. They invariably use Western Union money transfers because
they are untraceable and unrecoverable. PLEASE
DO NOT RESPOND TO THESE MESSAGES; if you do you could
be next to be abused. If you get a similar message with a web link
in it, do not click on the link - it will most
likely cause malware to be downloaded onto your computer which
may cause all your email info and contacts to be stolen.
There are always clues in such messages to show that they are
not from the 'sender'. Nobody in the UK would call it a cellphone
(US name); anyone asking you to use Western Union is probably doubtful.
However the clever bit is that they are using the 'sender's' full
signature text on the bottom of the email which may convince some
that it is genuine - it's not, they just stole it off one of the
'sender's' genuine messages.
Macclesfield Neighbourhood Policing Team 0845 458 6371
Police non-emergency number: 101
The text on this page is not from Cheshire Police; it was prepared
by Tim Boddington (retired IT security manager).
Other Homewatch pages of current relevance: Local
crimes in the Macclesfield Division including Bollington,
Kerridge and Pott Shrigley.
If you haven't looked at the homewatch pages before we recommend
looking at the homewatch home page.