This morning I received a long distance call from my son Jon in New York asking if I had gotten a desperate e mail from Karen Heagle. I told him that I had not, but asked him to read it to me over the telephone. After listening to about a third of it I told Jon that it sounded like a scam to extract money from Karen's friends and relatives but I would call her dad and check into it.
After speaking with Bob, it was clear that it was, indeed, a scam. Unfortunately, because Karen's email had been "hacked", she was deluged by calls from concerned friends and relatives.
Here is the "Scam E mail" that Jon received:
I am in a hurry writing you this mail as I have no much time on this PC. So I just want your urgent help in my situation right now as I don’t know how to communicate with you only from my mail been that my bag containing all my contact and phone is lost. Actually I had a trip to Asia on a program named: Youth Empowerment against HIV/AIDS, Poverty Eradication and Lack of Education. This program takes place in four major Asian Countries Japan, Korea, Singapore and Malaysia and I was to cover major cities in Malaysia. But Unfortunately for my on my way back to Kuala Lumpur for the final conclusion of the program we had an attack by robbers on our three hour drive back to Kuala Lumpur and my little bag with all my belongings was lost in this process, I arrived Kuala Lumpur without money no food to sustain myself no phone to retrieve my contacts, I only have access to this PC in the public library where am writing you from. I will need your help to settle my bills with the Motel lodge where I stay which is almost($1,200 USD) and will need $2,000 USD to feed and help myself back home which I promise to pay you back once I get home. So Please can you help me with the sum of $3,200 USD so I can sort things out for myself here and get home as soon as possible, Right now I will appreciate anything you can afford for me in this situation if not all as once I get my travel document which the embassy are working out for me I will only think of my way home. Do find any nearest available western union and send me the money with the information below, He is the Lodge Manager where I sleep with a valid ID to help me pick up the money as my passport is also in my lost bag. The information is ….
Name: Mahmood Ibrahim
Address: 11A Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia
(Any Text Question use To Whom? Answer: Karen )
If you take time to not panic, it is obvious that this is not for real. If she did have contact with the American Embassy, they certainly would have contacted her dad.
That, coupled with making a call or two to verify where Karen actually is (she is home in Brooklyn, of course), shoots holes in the whole scam.
We live in weird times! Actually what we all should do is send a letter to the above address with a note inside that says:
HEY! MAHMOOD - YOU PIECE OF SHIT! FUCK OFF!