Hotmail’s Delay May Facilitate Fraud

I received an email from an acquaintance this morning. It said:

Please Urgent Needed

  How are you doing?hope all is well, 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 is and other valuable things were kept, i will like you to assist me with a  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. Kindly let me know if you can be of help? so that i can send you the details.
Any asistant you can offer will be greatly appreciated

If you google “I"m sorry that i didn’t inform you about my traveling to England for a Seminar.” You will instantly find this is a scam involving a hijacked email account. I emailed Hotmail at 3:11 AM PDT. I also responded to “Lynda”. At 9:13 AM I received an email from the attacker, posing as Lynda thanking me and asking me to send the money through Western Union. Hotmail has yet to take action. Yeah, I know not to send the money, but I don’t know about Lynda’s other friends.

The delay by Hotmail may allow this attacker to victimize Lynda’s friends. I would contact Lynda myself,  but I only have her hotmail address.

If you ever receive a request for help in email, call your friend on the phone first!

Randy Abrams
Director of Technical Education

Author ESET Research, ESET

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