Warning as ex-MP uncovers email scam

Email users were warned to stay on their guard after a Norfolk man was targeted by a scammer pretending to be someone he knew.Former MP Charles Simeons from Mill Leet, Cley received an odd email from a friend, saying that he was at a seminar and had lost his wallet.

Email users were warned to stay on their guard after a Norfolk man was targeted by a scammer pretending to be someone he knew.

Former MP Charles Simeons from Mill Leet, Cley received an odd email from a friend, saying that he was at a seminar and had lost his wallet.

The message asked for friends to respond if they could help, and promised to send details of a bank account that they could transfer money into.

Mr Simeons said: 'What struck me was that he had only stayed with us 10 days ago and hadn't said anything about going abroad. I wasn't taken in - I called him.'


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Mr Simeons discovered that, far from being at a seminar overseas, his friend was at home in Leicester and in no need of financial assistance at all.

But he had been inundated with calls from concerned friends and family, most concerned that his email address had been hijacked, but some willing to transfer money to him once they confirmed he needed it.

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Anyone who responded directly to the email may also be targetted, putting everyone in their email address book at risk.

Ann Jackson, trading standards officer with Norfolk County Council, said: 'We would urge anyone to be cautious when receiving suspicious emails asking for cash donations of any description.

'Anyone who has been caught out by a scam, or who suspects that they've received an email which could be a scam, can get advice from Consumer Direct on 0845 4040506.'

The council also runs an email alert system to warn people about new scams, which can be accessed at www.norfolk.gov.uk/scams for consumers or www.norfolk.gov.uk/businessscams for businesses.

Hello,

How are you doing ? hope all is well with you, I'm sorry that I didn't inform you about my traveling to England for a Seminar.

I need a favor from you as soon as you receive this e-mail because I misplaced my wallet on my way to the hotel where my money,and other valuable things were kept, I will like you to assist me with a soft loan urgently. I will be needing the sum of $2,500 to sort-out my hotel bills and get myself back home.

I will appreciate whatever you can afford to help me with, I will pay you back as soon as I return,I'm counting on you on this,Kindly let me know if you can be of help so i can send you my details to use when sending the money through western union.I look forward to read from you later today.

Your reply will be greatly appreciated.

Philip

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