While a lot of scams that you see on the internet deal with romance scams there are still an awful lot of them out there that just try and take advantage of nice people. Most people when they hear that someone is in trouble they would like to help if they could. That is how this “Stranded friend scam” came about. The way this scam works is that someone messages you claiming to be one of your friends, or a friend of a friend. The say that they were robbed in a foreign country, and got taken for all of their passports and money. After explaining this they will say that they need some amount of money in order to get back to the United States.
This story has to do with a man named William. He received an email from a very close friend saying that he had been robbed for everything he had in a foreign country. It was particularly believable because his friend just so happened to be in a foreign country at the time. The con artist said that he had lost all of his money and his phone and had no way to get in contact other than email. So the friend never tried to contact him and just believed that his friend needed help, so he sent him his credit card info so he could get money and get out of his bind. He thought he was only going to get out about 100 euro, but withdrew about 5000 euros. He noticed it was much more money than he agreed to so he cancelled his card. Right before he did that the scammer withdrew another 8000 euros. After that he realized that his friend was not even in the same country that the email said he was in and that he had been scammed.
This types of scams are particularly hard to avoid because it claims to be one of your friends. The way the con artist gets ahold of your email is he hacks the email of your friend, and gets access to their emailing list. Then they send a message claiming to be in trouble. Sadly this scam works because nobody wants their friend to be stranded in a foreign country. There are ways to notice when it is not really from your friend and that it is a scam. Sadly now a day if you receive an email from your friend claiming to be in trouble you need to be skeptical about it, and check it out before you make any moves to giving out money. Sadly you can not trust a lot of things on the internet, and you need to always fact check things. In this case you need to try and get ahold of your friend over the phone, over normal email, or even talk to other of their friends to make sure they are even out of the country.