IT Security: Hacked E-mail Accounts Used to Scam Friends

September 02, 2010 / by / 0 Comment

You might get an e-mail from a friend asking for help, but watch out! It might just be a ruse to get your money.  

Most of us get e-mails every day from friends and family, and we never consider that they could be phony.  However, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) continues to receive reports about people’s e-mail or social networking accounts being hijacked and used to swindle money from their family and friends.  

Pretending to be someone you know, the hacker uses the hijacked account to send a notice to people in their contact list.  The email claims they are stranded in a foreign country and are in immediate need of money.  Some claim they only have a few days to pay their hotel bill and promise to reimburse you when they return home.

A sense of urgency in the email is designed to make you act without thinking things through, hoping to increase the likelihood of you falling for this scam. To help avoid becoming a victim, make sure you have the most updated anti-virus software available on your computer. Most importantly, if  you get an e-mail from a friend in need, call them first to verify their whereabouts, before sending any money.

For more information on IT Security, please contact ITSecurity@gcu.edu or 602.639.6300.


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