Victim warns on email scammers

Dorset Echo: HACKED OFF: Ken Francis who had his email account hacked HACKED OFF: Ken Francis who had his email account hacked

A WEYMOUTH volunteer is warning people to be aware of scammers after his email was hacked.

Ken Francis, volunteer press spokesman for the Weymouth Lifeboat, was a victim of hackers who got into his email account, sent emails to all his contacts asking for help and then stripped his account of all contact addresses.

An email was sent out from Mr Francis’s account asking his contacts if they could do a favour for him.

When anyone replied they received a further email, but this time from a slightly different email address, still in Mr Francis’s name.

The second email said that Mr Francis was in Kharkov in Ukraine on a business trip and was short of cash, as he couldn’t get any money out of ATMs due to a network error.

The email then asked for a ‘quick loan of £2,450’ or anything the recipient could afford, which would be paid back when Mr Francis returned on Sunday.

Mr Francis said he was fearful for his contacts and hoped they wouldn’t reply to the hacked email.

He said he couldn’t even get in touch with his contacts to tell them as the hackers had wiped all of his address book.

“I tried to inform my friends and contacts through Facebook and telephone.

“I want everyone to be aware of scammers and that it’s going on at the moment.

“I’m just annoyed and hope my contacts don’t take up on the scam,” he said. “It’s just very annoying and frustrating.”

Through his RNLI work, Mr Francis said he had a lot of contacts and may well have lost several, as the hackers had wiped the list.

Email provider Yahoo was made aware of the incident and Mr Francis changed his password and reported the scam to Action Fraud – the UK’s centre for reporting fraud and internet crime.

Anyone who has been affected by a scam or internet fraud should contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit their website at actionfraud.police.uk/home

Protect yourself online

ACTION Fraud says there are several actions people can take to keep them safe online.

These include:

  • Using strong, memorable passwords
  • Installing anti-virus software on new devices
  • Checking privacy settings on social media
  • Shopping safely online – always ensuring to check online retail sites are secure

Comments (8)

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11:55am Mon 24 Feb 14

IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE says...

People should also back up their contact list as well as regularly backing up their personal data to an external drive. Apple Mac users can arrange for this to done automatically every hour. Windoze users must make other arrangements, just search on Google for 'how to backup to an external drive'. External usb drives are relatively cheap and save the worry of losing data due to scams such as these (get one as large as you can afford, 1 or 2 TB if possible). I have seen a 1TB external drive for sale on a website today for around £50.
People should also back up their contact list as well as regularly backing up their personal data to an external drive. Apple Mac users can arrange for this to done automatically every hour. Windoze users must make other arrangements, just search on Google for 'how to backup to an external drive'. External usb drives are relatively cheap and save the worry of losing data due to scams such as these (get one as large as you can afford, 1 or 2 TB if possible). I have seen a 1TB external drive for sale on a website today for around £50. IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE
  • Score: 4

12:08pm Mon 24 Feb 14

portland rebel says...

not really news this scam has been going for years.
not really news this scam has been going for years. portland rebel
  • Score: 2

12:11pm Mon 24 Feb 14

jjlad2 says...

If it helps to still make people aware, then it is news.
If it helps to still make people aware, then it is news. jjlad2
  • Score: 2

1:39pm Mon 24 Feb 14

PortlandYoof says...

IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE wrote:
People should also back up their contact list as well as regularly backing up their personal data to an external drive. Apple Mac users can arrange for this to done automatically every hour. Windoze users must make other arrangements, just search on Google for 'how to backup to an external drive'. External usb drives are relatively cheap and save the worry of losing data due to scams such as these (get one as large as you can afford, 1 or 2 TB if possible). I have seen a 1TB external drive for sale on a website today for around £50.
Well that's a bit silly..

Since when does it matter what operating system you use when checking your email using a web browser as most people do?

Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo and BT all allow you to export your contacts as a CSV list or VCF files - Irrelevent of whether you use Mac, Linux or Windows.

An external hard-drive is overkill for backing up your contacts - The correct way to address this is to make sure your passwords are:

1) NOT easy to guess. If your password is in the dictionary, someone WILL eventually log into your email account and use your account for something similar to this.

2) Please bear in mind the answer to your 'secret question'. If it's something along the lines of 'Favourite colour', don't expect someone to not be able to guess it!

In addition to this, if you're on the receiving end of an email such as this, apply a bit of common sense and ask for a contact number where you can reach them to confirm their identity (Even if it is a number abroad).
[quote][p][bold]IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE[/bold] wrote: People should also back up their contact list as well as regularly backing up their personal data to an external drive. Apple Mac users can arrange for this to done automatically every hour. Windoze users must make other arrangements, just search on Google for 'how to backup to an external drive'. External usb drives are relatively cheap and save the worry of losing data due to scams such as these (get one as large as you can afford, 1 or 2 TB if possible). I have seen a 1TB external drive for sale on a website today for around £50.[/p][/quote]Well that's a bit silly.. Since when does it matter what operating system you use when checking your email using a web browser as most people do? Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo and BT all allow you to export your contacts as a CSV list or VCF files - Irrelevent of whether you use Mac, Linux or Windows. An external hard-drive is overkill for backing up your contacts - The correct way to address this is to make sure your passwords are: 1) NOT easy to guess. If your password is in the dictionary, someone WILL eventually log into your email account and use your account for something similar to this. 2) Please bear in mind the answer to your 'secret question'. If it's something along the lines of 'Favourite colour', don't expect someone to not be able to guess it! In addition to this, if you're on the receiving end of an email such as this, apply a bit of common sense and ask for a contact number where you can reach them to confirm their identity (Even if it is a number abroad). PortlandYoof
  • Score: 3

2:20pm Mon 24 Feb 14

IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE says...

PortlandYoof
As I have only been working with, repairing, building, using and teaching the use of computers since 1963, I have managed to pick up during that time, a little knowledge about computer hardware and operating systems.
Perhaps you think that an external backup is overkill. What do YOU do to recover your data and contacts when your machine breaks down (as Windoze machines sometimes do, Apple Macs rarely do, in my experience)?
I act as one of the mentors at a local computer club and have been a tutor for Age Concern. No-one that I have helped or taught, used their browser to pick up emails, perhaps they were not a representative group! I have never come across anyone who did.
There is no point in exporting your contact list to your own machine if it subsequently breaks down.
If you ever take a broken machine to a repairer, almost the first thing that they will ask is whether you have your data backed up!
PortlandYoof As I have only been working with, repairing, building, using and teaching the use of computers since 1963, I have managed to pick up during that time, a little knowledge about computer hardware and operating systems. Perhaps you think that an external backup is overkill. What do YOU do to recover your data and contacts when your machine breaks down (as Windoze machines sometimes do, Apple Macs rarely do, in my experience)? I act as one of the mentors at a local computer club and have been a tutor for Age Concern. No-one that I have helped or taught, used their browser to pick up emails, perhaps they were not a representative group! I have never come across anyone who did. There is no point in exporting your contact list to your own machine if it subsequently breaks down. If you ever take a broken machine to a repairer, almost the first thing that they will ask is whether you have your data backed up! IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE
  • Score: 2

5:06pm Mon 24 Feb 14

cosmick says...

If all you people send me your e mail details, your bank account details and any on line banking details i will post them on my ultra safe computer in a real secure boiler room and you wont have to worry about all that cash any more.
If all you people send me your e mail details, your bank account details and any on line banking details i will post them on my ultra safe computer in a real secure boiler room and you wont have to worry about all that cash any more. cosmick
  • Score: 0

7:20pm Mon 24 Feb 14

IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE says...

cosmick
You forgot to list where we are to send these details (:o))
If you let us know your own email address, bank details (user name, sort code n acct. number) we can just send the money directly to you to look after for us (and porcine animals will then be seen flying over Weymouth Bay).
cosmick You forgot to list where we are to send these details (:o)) If you let us know your own email address, bank details (user name, sort code n acct. number) we can just send the money directly to you to look after for us (and porcine animals will then be seen flying over Weymouth Bay). IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE
  • Score: 0

9:11pm Mon 24 Feb 14

cosmick says...

IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE wrote:
cosmick
You forgot to list where we are to send these details (:o))
If you let us know your own email address, bank details (user name, sort code n acct. number) we can just send the money directly to you to look after for us (and porcine animals will then be seen flying over Weymouth Bay).
You should of bean a copper.
[quote][p][bold]IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE[/bold] wrote: cosmick You forgot to list where we are to send these details (:o)) If you let us know your own email address, bank details (user name, sort code n acct. number) we can just send the money directly to you to look after for us (and porcine animals will then be seen flying over Weymouth Bay).[/p][/quote]You should of bean a copper. cosmick
  • Score: 1

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