Well, her email said that she was in London and she and her family had been robbed at gunpoint on their way back to the hotel. She had her credit cards, cash, cell phone, and ID stolen and she went to the US Embassy, who was of no help and then to the police, who was of no help either. Her email asked if we could help her because her flight was leaving later that day and the hotel manager would not let her leave without settling the bill.
Now... this sounded awful and totally plausible since my friend is known to travel abroad on a moment's notice - and the email came from HER actual email account. Of course, I'm the kind of person who would totally rush to help, but something struck me as odd about her email. The grammar wasn't quite her style... and some of the choices of words just didn't sound like her... so I googled "email scam london" and came upon this article:
Very similar situation, where someone claimed to have lost their wallet and couldn't get home and asked folks to wire money to them which they would pay back later... AND my friend had a Yahoo email account.
Not wanting to ignore my friend's email, in case she was really in trouble, I texted her to ask her if she was okay and if she was, to tell her that I think her email was hacked. She responded moments later saying that she was hacked and that she was fine and not in London or in need of money. Thank goodness it wasn't real, but how awful that these scam emails are being sent out!
So beware... these emails come from the actual accounts of people we know and are "signed" with their names. Like the article says, check to see if the person is okay before trying to send out any money. :P