Scammers cracked Val’s Gmail account yesterday, and sent mail to several (possibly all) people in her address book begging for money and saying she was stranded in Scotland.
This has happened to several other people I know, and I doubt that anyone we know would fall for this scam, but here’s a warning just in case. Most of the scam letters sent out seem to say that the owner of the e-mail account is stranded there, so perhaps the scammers are themselves based there.
Here is an update, posted on 19 June 2010. It illustrates what I was talking about in the previous message about “identity theft”. In this case the “phisher” was personating Google.
Val’s gmail account was hijacked a couple of days ago by someone on a phishing expedition using the e-mail address
and was apparently using this Gmail address:
firstname.lastname@example.org (note the gg in googgle)
He sent an e-mail, ostensibly from Gmail itself, asking for name and
=== quoted phishing message ====
From: Google Quality Control Panel
Date: Sun, Jun 13, 2010 at 10:29 AM Subject: Warning: from Google Quality
Control Team To:
Our Google Data network has encountered a problem due to suspicious and malicious activities. Therefore Gmail Control Team want to verify your domain details with the details on our system. Please help us with the verification process by filling out the details below so as to make a correspondence with the your details. Full Name-
Thanks for using Gmail.
– The Gmail Team. –>
=== end of quoted phishing message ===
If you get a message like this, do not reply to it, but click on the arrow next to the “reply” button and select “Report phishing” and send it there.
I am sending this to all the people in my address book who have G-mail addresses. If you were in Val’s address book as well you have probably already received some spam my now.
Val’s account has now been restored, BUT the phisher also redirected all incoming mail to his account, and deleted it from Val’s G-mail account, so she’s now going through the Trash folder to restore the mail.
Also, her address book was empty, which probably means that they have the contacts list, so Val’s contacts will probably continue to receive spam.
See also the previous message on identity theft and family history.