Several days ago I received this frantic email from my daughter:
Subject: Terrible Situation---Help Needed!!!
I'm sorry for this odd request, I'm stuck in Cardiff Wales with family right now, we came down here on vacation, we were robbed, the situation seems worse as bags, cash, credit cards and cell phone were stolen at GUN POINT. We need help flying back home, the authorities are not being 100% supportive but the good thing is that we still have our passport but don't have enough money to get our flight ticket back home, please i need you to loan me some money, I will reimburse you right as soon as I'm back home. I promise. Thank you in Advance
Of course I knew that my daughter was not anywhere near Wales, and neither was any of her family, and even if they were, they would not have flown to the British Isles on a one-way ticket.
And while my doctor-daughter's legibility and spelling may, on occasion, be questionable, English is her first language, and she definitely knows grammar!
Clearly someone had hacked into her account and was trying to scam her friends.
I forwarded the scam email to the police in Cardiff, and discovered that the perpetrator did not have to be in Wales in order to receive the money, they could be anywhere in the world.
A lawyer friend of ours, Christopher Naughton, also received this email from my daughter's account, and responded to it. Christopher is the host and producer of the regional American Law Journal television program on the Comcast Network and former host and producer of the NPR-affiliate program New World Radio. He kept me informed of the correspondence:
oh my god, I can't believe that happened!!!
where are you now? What can I do?