Recently, thousands of email accounts, some of them on gmail and msn, were hacked. The hackers are using the accounts to send phishing notes to all the people in the address books of the hacked accounts. They are using this style of mailing:
So if your friend Mary Brown's account was hacked, and her email is firstname.lastname@example.org,
you will get a note from email@example.com, and the note will be signed, Mary Elizabeth, so it will look completely real.
However the writing style may well not match Mary's at all
At least 2 members of this forum have received a scam email from the recent bulk theft of accounts in the last 3 days.Subject: PLEASE URGENT Money NEEDED
How are you doing ? I hope you are doing fine, I'm sorry that I didn't inform you about my traveling to England for a Seminar.I need a favor from you as soon as you receive this e-mail because I my wallet was stolen on my way to the hotel where my money, passport and other valuable things were kept. I will like you to assist me with a soft loan urgently. I will be needing the sum of $2,500 to sort-out my hotel bills and get myself back home.I will appreciate whatever you can afford to help me with, I will pay you back as soon as I return,I have trust on you,Please kindly let me know if you can be of help so I can send you my details to use when sending the money through Western Union Or Money Gram today, may god bless you and your family.
Any assistant you can offer will be greatly appreciated
regards [Name removed]
Because the message apparently comes from a person that the recipient knows, he or she may be more inclined to believe the story and send money as requested. Since the scam message originates from the victim's own account, it will have the his or her own name and email address in the sender field and may also include the his or her normal email signature.
So if you receive this sort of email, don't fall for the scheme.
Be especially careful if the person who sent the email has an Ipad