Holiday Disaster . . . Please Help !
February 7, 2018 2:11pm CST
I know that one shouldn't open e-mails if one doesn't know the sender. Yesterday I got one like that. The words HOLIDAY DISASTER...PLEASE HELP seemed strange to me. I clicked it into the bin. Some hours later I got an email from a former colleague of my school who had opened it and asked me what I thought of it. What connects this colleague and me is that when I was still in active service so-to-speak, I used to organise an evening once a year for our German students of English. An English theatre group would come and perform an English play adapted to the level of knowledge of our students. There are always only three actors who tour through Germany and neighbouring countries. When I retired, the colleague took the organisation over from me. The e-mail was signed with the name of the Englishman who runs this theatre company. It said, "Hello I'm writing this with tears in my eyes, my family and I came over here to Kyivska, Ukraine for a short vacation. unfortunately, we were mugged at the park of the hotel where we stayed, all cash and credit card were stolen off us but luckily for us we still have our passports with us. We've been to the Embassy and the Police here but they're not helping issues at all and our flight leaves in few hours from now but we're having problems settling the hotel bills and the hotel manager won't let us leave until we settle the bills. Well I really need your financial assistance with a quick loan of $2,000, Promise to refund it back as soon as we get back home...Please, let me know if you can help us out? Am freaked out at the moment!! Name XYZ" I sent my colleague this answer: -I doubt that the British Embassy refuses to help. After all it's their job to do this. -We're both so far removed from the theatre man in England that it's very unlikely he'd turn to us for help and not to relatives and friends in Great Britain. -The flight is supposed to be in some hours. How would we be able to get money to the Ukraine at such short notice? -The sum of 2000 GBP is enormous. Imagine you and I and some others would react, that would mean quite a nice sum for the sender of this email. -Who's so daft to visit the Ukraine in winter 'for a short vacation'? Besides: 'vacation' is American English, an Englishman would write 'holidays'. -The theatre performances have always taken place in winter. While the actors are on tour, the head of the company has always been in his office in London so that we could reach him if need be. He'd certainly not go to the Ukraine now. My advice: call him or send him an e-mail and ask what's going on. My colleague has done that and just sent me an e-mail confirming that the whole thing was a scam - just as I had suspected. So no harm was done, at least not to us. But I must admit that begging e-mails sent from the address of someone whose name is familiar can be disturbing. Have you ever made a similar experience? --- Pic: pixabay
21 people like this
7 Feb 18
@maluse I’ve had several of these supposedly being sent by people I know, and in exactly the same format. In one case the story was of being on holiday in Morocco, mugged, robbed etc. And the person who “sent” it really was in Morocco!! But there were too many clues in the letter that alerted me to the scam such as americanisms.
9 Feb 18
You are one clever woman to not buy into this scam aka BS Emails like these have been circulating and people actually fell for them out of genuine goodness in their hearts. I know someone (let's call her jane) who shelled out 21,000 Philippine pesosto help a friend, only to find out later, that it was all a scam. Jane never suspected anything because when they were exchanging emails, he sounded like someone who knew so much about the person he was pretending to be. Meaning, he did some research and put on an act so convincing and that was the terrifying thing about it.
9 Feb 18
Sad as it is, such scams will stay with us. One good thing can be reported from German banks: Bank clerks are attentive when an oldie comes and takes high sums out of their bank account. They ask them in a friendly way what they need the money for and when they hear that a grandchild had an accident or some such nonsense (you don't pay cash in German hospitals) and urgently needs the money, they inform the police.
8 Feb 18
I have received emails that looked like sent from my niece, but when I checked carefully they were forged emails. I would never reply to this kind of emails. The best is to call the person. Anyway the German Embassy (or the Consulate) would have helped in a case like this. Even the flight company could have searched the database and let them board if they reported to the police the fact their tickets were stolen.
• Daytona Beach, Florida
7 Feb 18
I have not had anything like this happen but I do know that I have heard of people who have really been in a bad situation and have really needed help. Of course over time and not right away but I think that things like this are really bad scams. Someday someway someone will really need help and will reach out for real to people they know and will wind up being snubbed because of such scams. Now that I think is really sad. Right now I have to think of a way to come up with finances but I am not going to start sending begging letters or anything like that. I have a few Idea and I will work on those.
• Los Angeles, California
7 Feb 18
Ohhhh, that has "scam" written all over it - certain things really do not add up. It's good that your colleague was able to confirm with the real person - often these type of letters come from someone we never heard of from another country. How dare these scammers now have access to people who you may know - that's pretty sneaky and they are most likely hoping some gullible person will bite. And we know there is no fooling you . I've gotten plenty of scam emails, but as I don't ever open them, I haven't read any of it . . . anyone who truly knows me knows how to get a hold of me directly without emailing!
• United Kingdom
14 Feb 18
I will forward you the emails I get from Nigeria apparently I have miilions of dollars just waiting for me to give them my bank details as a distant relative of mine was killed in a car accident and by default I am in line for it to be paid as a beneficiary. The British Embassy for a start would help provide assistance however that would mean that they would help get funds from others to help them out. So emails like that straight into the junk and block folder!
• United States
10 Feb 18
There have been a lot of scams online with people pretending to be someone close to you and then needing money for an emergency. It actually happened to Richard Branson of Virgin Records and a good friend of his - someone called the friend pretending to be Richard Branson asking for $2 million - and the guy gave it to him because he was so convinced it was real.
• United States
9 Feb 18
I got this same email quite a few years ago, it was supposedly from my friend Mike Philippino. Since he is also my pastor I had just seen him at church so I knew he was not in the Ukraine. Lol Evidently many others got the email since he wasn't surprised when I called him about his recent troubles abroad lol