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If you receive an e-mail from a friend who says they were mugged on a vacation trip, you are actually the one being shaken down for money.
The Galax Police Department reports that scam e-mails are circulating that claim they are from friends who have lost everything on a trip to the Philippines.
The scammers are using real names of your friends and real e-mail addresses, police caution. But, the situation is false.
In a press release, police said the e-mail recipient “checked on their friend before sending money and learned they were actually fine. Scam avoided.”
The e-mails are titled “Awful Vacation Trip.....Help Needed,” followed by the person’s name in parentheses.
Here’s the text of the bogus e-mails:
“Hello. I’m with family on vacation in Philippines and a lot of things has been spewing. We got mugged last night in an alley by a gang of thugs on our way back from shopping, one of them had a knife poking my neck for almost two minutes and everything we had on us including my cell phone, credit cards were all stolen...
“Quite honestly it was beyond a dreadful experience for us but looking on the bright side we weren’t seriously hurt or injured and we are still alive so that is what's important...
“We need a quick loan of $1,670 let me know if you can help us with the money then i will let you know how to get it to me.”
Police urge citizens who receive e-mails such as this to contact the friend mentioned and verify the details. Chances are, it’s not true.