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Fraudsters asked for hundreds of pounds after hacking email account
A BASINGSTOKE man is warning others to be vigilant to the threat of email scams after he was nearly conned out of money.
Jason York, from Laburnum Way, Winklebury, received an email on October 10 from a friend called Lena.
The email said she was in Stockholm, Sweden, for a week and had misplaced her bag containing all her vital items including phone and money.
She said: “I am kind of stranded at the moment. I may need a little help from you.”
Mr York, 43, who is a schools ambassador, said: “This is a friend and someone I worked with as a schools ambassador in South Wales. I responded in a bit of a panic.”
He asked her what she needed, and was expecting her to ask him to cover the ambassador role until she returned.
However, the reply asked for money, which would be refunded.
Mr York, who works for EM Highways Services in Viables Business Park as an assistant engineer, said: “As this was my friend, I replied ‘how much are we talking about?’ expecting to be £50 to tide her over. This was the response: ‘about 400pound’.
“My friend would have used the pound sign, not typed pound afterwards. I responded ‘haven’t got 400, have you contacted the consulate? They should be able to help.’ I received no further communication from her.”
Mr York asked Lena’s employers if they had heard from her, and heard back to say she was in Cardiff.
He said: “Her email had been hacked and my spamware failed to pick it up because it recognised previous communications from her.
“A second look revealed that my response went to , which is not my friend’s email from which it originally said it had come from.
“I almost got caught out, but how many less aware people will be?
“My best advice is to know how people would normally contact you – the finer details like using a pound sign rather than typing pound afterwards.”
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