The Sadsbury Township Police Department recently received a report of a local “social engineering” scam. These types of scams involve hackers using individuals e-mail or social networking accounts to send notices to their contacts.
In these notices, the hackers claim to be that individual in immediate need of money due to having been robbed or mugged. They will claim that they have lost their credit cards, cell phones, passport, and money – leaving them stranded in any number of locations from Mexico to Maylasia. Some will claim that they only have a few days to pay their hotel bill and all promise to reimburse upon their return home.
The sense of urgency these messages create often cause the recipients to be less than vigilant in validating the claim – increasing the likelihood of them falling for the scam. Additionally, these types of scams can be targeted to older individuals via the telephone – the caller claiming a grandchild or other relative is in trouble and needs funds wired immediately to settle legal matters.
If you receive a similar notice or phone call and are not sure it is a scam, you should ALWAYS verify the information before sending any money.
For additional information on “social engineering” scams and other cyber crimes, check out the information available on the FBI’s “Scams and Safety” link: http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/