$CAM ALERT $ATURDAY – Email from a Friend Scam

Published: 07/18/2020

It's "$cam Alert $aturday” and we have another one to share with you thanks to our Economics Crime Unit.  Let’s talk about the “EMAIL FROM A FRIEND” scam.  
These crimes are usually perpetrated via emails over the phone or a computer. Scammers will represent themselves as one of your friends on your email contact list.  What they have actually done is hacked one of your friend’s email accounts and sent an email blast to all the contacts on your friend’s account.  The scammers, who are posing as your friend, will ask for financial help hoping one or more people will reply. Once a person does reply, the scammers will ask the potential victims for help in the form of gift cards from Ebay, Target, Apple, and other popular establishments.   After the gift cards are purchased, the victim is then instructed to call the scammer back with the PIN and account number to that card.  Once they have that information, they have full access to the funds. 
This is essentially a convenient and untraceable method of transferring money that leaves the victim with no recourse.
Something to note is the scammer will be emailing you from your friend’s account so it will appear to be legitimate.  Always attempt to contact that friend through other means, preferably telephone, and confirm it’s indeed them sending you the email. Secondly, anytime someone asks for financial help through a gift card or pre-paid card should immediately be a red flag.
▪️ Remember that anyone who has the number on a gift card or a pre-paid re-loadable debit card has access to the funds on the card.
▪️ Never give out personal or financial information to anyone who emails or calls you unsolicited.