The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office reminds computer users to secure their passwords and update anti-virus and anti-spyware programs after the agency received several complaints from residents whose e-mail accounts were hijacked as part of a scam.
Several Loudouners reported that their e-mail accounts were used by an outside party to send e-mails requesting money to their own contacts and address books.
In most cases the fraudulent e-mail states that the victim was on vacation in London (or other overseas location), and was either robbed or had their hotel room burglarized, and requested that a sum of money (varying from $1000.00 to $2500.00) be wired to a recipient in London (or other overseas location) so that the victim can get home to the US. Most of the e-mails are listed as subject: “I Need Your Help Urgently..” or “Stranded in The UK..”.
Residents should be aware of this scam as it is unclear as to how the victim’s e-mail accounts are being compromised. Those who access the internet should ensure that they have a current anti-virus program(s) which includes anti-malware/anti-spyware protection, and that they regularly update their virus protection.
If you believe you have been a victim of this scam you are asked to contact the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Financial Crimes Unit at 703-777-0475 or call your local law enforcement agency.