she went to nigeria and she didn’t tell me?

Last week I got an e-mail from Miss E, who’s one of my closest MBA friends. The subject was “Emergency help!” so it really caught my attention.


Click on the photo to blow it up so you can read the content.

Gosh, was I surprised or what! Wait, SHOCKED was more like it! My first instinct was to see the signs if the e-mail was valid:
1) The “From” column – Yes, it’s her real name
2) The e-mail address next to it – Yes, it’s her real e-mail. I remember it because we e-mail each other quite often.
3) The second paragraph that says “Name” – Yes, that’s her full name actually, complete with surname.
4) The signature on the last line – That’s how she usually signs-off her e-mail.

Everything looks valid. What concerned me even more was the fact that Miss E works for an international logistics company, which requires a lot of travel. She also deals with people at the most remote parts of the world, so it’s not really strange if she has to travel to Nigeria to get her job done.

But of course, I wasn’t about to send a single cent across the ocean just because of one e-mail. So I called Miss E on her mobile phone. No answer. Could she really be in Nigeria? About an hour later she called me back, at that time I was talking to my boss on another line, so I couldn’t pick up the phone. I returned her call immediately afterwards and I was so relieved to hear her voice at the end of the line.

Miss E: Hey, what’s up?
Me: Are you busy?
Miss E: Not really. Why?
Me: Are you in Nigeria?
Miss E: Huh?! No! Why?

I told her about the e-mail that I just received. It was so eerie how it looked so close to being valid! The only point that made me realized that it might be a scam was – get this – the way the text was perfectly composed. Miss E would NEVER send me an e-mail that was good enough to qualify for General Cambridge English exam!

In conclusion, she didn’t write that e-mail. She never asked for anyone to send her any money. And she definitely was NOT in Nigeria, unless Nigeria is a town near Port Kelang, which I really doubt so.

After our conversation, Miss E sent a mass e-mail to everyone with this subject:

“Hotmail back to normal - don't send any money.....!!!!! I'm still in Malaysia.......alive and kicking.....!!!!!!”

Hahaha! Then later she sent another e-mail, this time using G-Mail, telling that she had closed the Hotmail account and would be using G-Mail from now on.

I’m not trying to condemn Hotmail (I was a Hotmail user many years ago), but I find that such hacking and scamming problem often happen with Hotmail, do you agree? In fact, this was actually the second case that I received a scam e-mail from a friend whose Hotmail account was hacked.

The first case was a around last year. My friend’s Hotmail kept sending promotion on an electronic store in China to everyone in her address book. And the hacker didn’t even do BCC, so everyone got to see the recipients’ real names and e-mail addresses, thus the e-mail looked realistic. It was only after several e-mails that I realized my friend’s account might have been hacked. So I called her to ask if she was really doing business venture in China. The answer was a firm NO. She was still a college lecturer juggling between teaching and doing research. How could she have time to do business, let alone in China!

So all of you out there (Hotmail users especially), be extra careful. Let’s not be the pawn of scammers who try to get money from your family and friends, while you get the blame for everything!

11 comments:

ninie said...

imagine..klau the email's from sumone yg betul2 kita care off..pastu call2 dia tak angkat..at the end of the email..dia tulis "antara hidup dan mati..".....,scary.....

PatinPasta said...

Dieya,
Hmm.. I've been using Hotmail for some years now and thankfully nothing like this ever happened. Hmm.. tapi jadi was2 la pulak ye kot2 jadi. Huhu!

ZuNas77 said...

This is really scarrryyyy!!!...dah la my hsb slalu travel, if email dia yg kena hacked, and i buta2 je gila2 cari duit kat sini and antar duit kat dia mcm mana?? eh..tapi tak mungkin, coz tak kan ada org boleh tulis the way dia tulis email kat i..hahaha..

eh, takut la kan. mcm2 la penipu cyber zaman skrg. so i rasa to be safe, kena tukar password every week kot. or monitor slalu email account kita. and hide it on facebook, twitter or mana2 website. so takde la strangers mana ntah yg tau kan..ish..takut..takut..

dieya said...

ninie,
ish kalau ada ayat tu mmg betul2 punya habis scary.. ada yg kelam-kabut pos duit gi nigeria nnt.. scammers are really smart these days!

aida,
eh identity baru nampak? nak tiru mm ye! shall i call you pp?
you better check, for all you know you are already a millionaire in nigeria! :-D

zu,
sangat scary kan! hahaha nasib baik u always remember the way he writes to you.. kalau tiba2 dpt e-mail camni u tau laa confirm tipu. betul laa zu, bahaya tayang2 e-mail, better hide semuanya.

JaJa'Z said...

uish..ngeriiiiii..mujur la dieya bijak pk nak call ur friend tu..kalau buat2 jek gi transfer duit tu..tak ke naya..dah la dalam USD..kalau dalam rupiah..takpe la jugak kan...thank GOd...

*Jilly* said...

ngeri giler dieya!! silap2 u could be one of the scam victims yg kuar kat paper tuh. pls don't ever fall for it!!

tapi, asal u selalu sgt dpt scam email nih?

dieya said...

k jaja,
yeah thank God! kalu dia minta satu rupiah pun, mmg scary kan. and kesian juga my fren tu juga sampai kena buka e-mail baru.

faz,
i know! hahaha that's a good observation, naper ye suka betul diorg ni try nak scam i? glemer sgt ke i ni? ingat i bimbo ke? anyway yg penting kena terus berjaga2 :-)

Maya Marisa said...

looks like they are getting more creative. wonder what's they next ploy would look like...

dieya said...

maya,
they surely have. whatever that will be, let's pray we'll be saved from it!

niSamiR said...

it's not only hotmail..yahoomail too!!u know what..i got 2 eh 3 yahoo accts..n yg klakarnye, masa i tgh browse inbox one of my yahoomail, got a new mail from my other email!!!!..gila takk??bile check2, tgk2 promote viagra!!!yucksssssssssss....n tgk thru address yg "my email" sent to, to batch7 - our maresmart batch!!!hahaha...nonsenseeeee...

dieya said...

nisa,
really?! hahaha if u r the one promoting the blue pill kat geng2 maresmart confirm the boys pakat beli coz doctor yg promote! :-D
aiyoo.. nak pakai e-mail apa pulak lepas ni.. e-mail ofc je ke..