A Worrying Email Scam

A rather strange email was received at the offices of the British Guild of Travel Writers today purportedly from a member.

Luckily its phraseology was odd enough to raise suspicion, but of course being a travel writer the member concerned could easily have really been in West Africa.

This scam is both very clever and plausible. Has anyone else received something like this recently?

This is exactly what was sent to the Guild using the member’s email address:


How are you? I’m sorry for not informing you earlier about my trip to West Africa for a Seminar,unfortunately, I misplaced my wallet on my way back to the Airport. I had no option but to send you an e-mail because I have no money to call and my phone does not work here.
I need a favor from you because I’m completely stranded and I need you to assist me with a soft loan of £1,500 to sort myself out of this mess and get myself back home.I’ll appreciate whatever you can afford to help me with, I’ll pay you back as soon as I return. Kindly let me know if you can be of help? so I can send you my personal details to send me the funds.

Your response will be greatly appreciated,.


Jxxx Axxxx Travel Writer & Editor

The member was contacted by phone and luckily she answered. She immediately confirmed it was a scam and her email account had been hacked. Her password and been changed by the high jackers and now she was unable to access her account.

The British Guild of Travel Writers answered the email seeking confirmation of her identity and even suggested it sounded like a scam. This is what came back.

Hi xxxxx,

Thanks a lot for your response,I understand your skeptism and really apprecaite that,it so happens that I lost my little bag in the Taxi where most of my valuable stuff was,infact am so confused at the whole situation because I have been unable to retreive it,the visit scotland winter white party is on Monday 9th November, 1800 – 1930 right? and we are to Collect our tickets from the Scotland stand, UKI 1900,Please,I’ll really appreciate your help and I promise to refund the money back to you as soon as I get back. Kindly help me send the money through the closest moneygram or western union outlet to you using my personal details below:

Name : Jxxx Axxx

Address:10 Bankole oki road



Zip Code:23401

Test Question:Colour

Test Answer: Green

Please As soon as you send the Money,kindly get back to me with the details used in sending it.I promise to pay you back as soon as I get back,hope to read from you soon. Below Details as Follows…

Full Sender Name:


Sender Country:

Amount Sent:

After I recieve the money I will email you on the arrangements to get back home.Thanks once again and I hope to hear from you soon.


Jxxx Axxx Travel Writer & Editor

Fortunately the English used and the spelling style employed clearly alerted the Guild that this was not its own member replying and has not done anything else.

The reason I am posting this on the web is to warn others of how easily fraud can be accomplished.

Perhaps it is time for all of us who use G Mail and Hotmail to update our passwords and make them that bit more difficult to hack into.