Tuesday, June 08, 2010


It's a Scam

We received this urgent email from a member of our community before Shabbos...

Subject: URGENT HELP!!!!!

I'm sorry for this odd request because it might get to you too urgent,but due to the situation of things right now, i'm stranded in London with my family right now, we came down here on vacation and was robbed, worst part is that wallet, cash credit cards and my cell phone was stolen at GUN POINT, it's such a crazy experience for me, i need help flying back home, the authorities are not being 100% supportive but the good thing is we still have our passport but dont have enough money to get my flight ticket back home and some bills settled, please we need you to loan me some money, will refund you as soon as i'm back home, i promise.

Thank you
Moshe (last name redacted for privacy)

When we ran into Moshe on Shabbos we asked him "how'd you get home so quick, B"H everything worked out ok!" 'What are you talking about?' he asked. Seems he did note that he couldn't log into his email account but didn't realize someone had actually taken control of it and sent this email to his whole contact list.

Beware such a note, it's likely a scam. Also note the "To:" address - none. That's another sign of a scam. What a time we live in.


  1. this also happened to a friend of mine last week in the US.

    His yahoo email account was hacked into.

  2. Yes it's a scam that happened to me last summer as well as a friend of mine a few months ago. It eats your email address list as it goes and hacks you out of your own email. (U.S.) Good rule of thumb, don't respond unless you SPEAK with someone, not text, not email.


  3. p.s. mine was an aol account

  4. How do they hack the account? Is it a virus or a real person doing it?

  5. It just happened to me last week.
    It came from a well respected Rebbetzin.
    Boruch Hashem at the last second I was able to cancel the Western Union Wire before it got to the Ganef.

    I learned a big lesson.
    1 - Keep giving Tzeddaka
    2- Just be careful.

    The only way to protect yourself is to make the person call you directly even if they say they dont have access to a phone.

  6. Is there any particular email provider that is being hacked? Are some more secure than others?

  7. also happened to me (I knew it was a scam because the email was so lame - and I also personally know Rabbi Moshe) however, I played the game - I wanted to send it to someone to find this hackers location) here is the email exchange - minus what you already have posted here. (after I received in my gmail account - I emailed Rabbi Moshe on facebook)

    Tidbits Torah June 4 at 1:17pm
    Rabbi Shulman - I received the following in my gmail account.

    Zahava Pasternak to mosheshulman
    show details Jun 4 (5 days ago)

    my husband can arrange tickets right now Moshe
    do send each families name as shown on passport

    Moshe Shulman to me
    show details Jun 4 (5 days ago)
    Thanks for your concerns,$1,350 is all we need more but any amount you could help with will be appreciated,you can get this across via Western Union,you can check www.westernunion.com for the nearest outlet close to you and have this done to my details below:

    Name: Moshe Shulman
    WU Address where i will pick it up is : 3, King Street Cloisters, Clifton Walk, London W6 0GY, United Kingdom

    Thank you once again, i'm so happy and will definitely keep our promise of paying back right as soon as we are back home, please let me know how soon you can wire the money and please get back with the confirmation number as soon as you are done



    June 4 at 7:27pm
    Thanks for checking on me, well the message is from me and not a hoax. We are presently stuck in London and really in a bad situation....We have been talking to the lazy embassy but it's taking them time and process to get us help, and it's hard to get hold of a phone, that was why I had to send out email for help....I need a financial help with getting back home.


  8. My hometown police told me that it supposedly originates in Nigeria, people sit in internet cafes and create these scams to make money. The officer thought the hackers have some kind of virus or program which hits random email addresses and passes it through the email address list. Someone told me to open a gmail account saying it is supposedly safer. I did it though I don't know how true that is.

  9. I have a gmail account and it was hacked. Same scam, and the hacker erased my entire contact list.

    A big tzaddik sent "me" a lot of money. Although I feel terrible about the scam, his intentions were on mark and his zechus is eternal.

  10. I was suckered into this thing. I did a whois on his IP address, and this is what I got. Dont know if it is the ganaf, but here goes:

    $ whois
    [Querying whois.arin.net]
    [Redirected to whois.afrinic.net]
    [Querying whois.afrinic.net]
    % This is the AfriNIC Whois server.

    % Note: this output has been filtered.

    % Information related to ' -'

    inetnum: -
    netname: STARCOMMS-20081218
    descr: Dial pool subnet for Lagos subscribers
    country: NG
    admin-c: CM9-AFRINIC
    tech-c: CM9-AFRINIC
    status: ASSIGNED PA
    mnt-by: STARCOMMS-MNT
    source: AFRINIC # Filtered
    parent: -

    person: Catalin Miclaus
    address: Plot 1261C, Bishop Kale Close, off Saka Tinubu
    phone: +234-1-8041234
    fax-no: +234-1-8110301
    e-mail: catalin@starcomms.com
    nic-hdl: CM9-AFRINIC
    source: AFRINIC # Filtered

  11. Anonymous -- call the police with the information. If you live in Israel, contact me and I'll give the info to the police.

    I am presently writing a newspaper article about my experience, so if you'd like to be interviewed for it, please get in touch with me.


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