“I’ve been mugged. Send money!”

We recently received this message from a reader of our blog:

People on my contact list have received an email
that’s supposed to be from me telling them that I am in trouble and asking them
to send me money. An address of a hotel where I was supposed to be staying (the
address is genuine) and a suggested method of money transfer was given. How did
this happen? How can I prevent it happening again?

This is a fairly common and very sinister scam because it
preys on the goodwill of your friends. If people on your contact list are
getting emails like this, it probably means that someone has stolen or guessed
the password to your email account and your email address has been hijacked.

What to do:

  • If you can still get into your email account, sign
    in and change your password.

  • If you can’t sign in, check the help file of
    your email provider. You can probably use additional information that you
    provided when you signed up in order to reset your password.

If these methods don’t work, contact your email provider. If
you use Hotmail, see Hotmail
hijacked? Here’s what to do


About the Author
Eve Blakemore

Group Manager, Trustworthy Computing

Eve Blakemore is a Group Manager for Trustworthy Computing who delivers consumer guidance around the latest trends in security and privacy. Eve joined Microsoft in 1998 and has worked in corporate and field roles with Microsoft Learning, US Public Sector, Read more »