This is a personal experience of OLLI’s own Kay Menzel. Feel free to comment.

Two days ago (6/16/10) my e-mail account was hijacked. The person who took control of my email sent out a message to some but not all on my contact list.  The subject of the message was “Terrifying Experience” and the message indicated that I was on vacation with my family and stranded in Wales after being mugged, robbed and in a desperate situation. The person did not ask for money and it wasn’t until later that I realized the person also changed by email settings and all my mail was forwarded to a new account. My family knew immediately that this was a scam because I had just returned from a big family event and there was no way that I could have been in Wales. But the message was pretty alarming to many of my friends who I had not talked to in awhile. We often travel internationally and since the message was sent from my account, it did appear legitimate. Some friends responded with “How can I help?” And they received an immediate response — asking for $1,850 to pay the hotel bill and get to airport.

As you can imagine, this has caused many problems for me. I’ve shut down that email account and trying to get my life back in order. What a mess!

Another friend sent me this article with an identical scenario — apparently this is happening more and more frequently all over the country – obviously with some success. The article has some very good advice about the importance of changing your password and running full scans on your systems.

I’m adding the web site with the hope that you will post the article on the OLLI website in order to alert our members.