clever scam

28 Jul 2009
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United Kingdom
This one almost had me: Got a request from a good friend to help send an Amazon voucher for £250 to a sick friend of theirs. "We will reimburse you later". It looked totally genuine and really did come from them (correct email add, etc.) £250 seemed a lot to me so I suggested that they come to mine and we do it together using my Amazon a/c as they only live just down the road. This was a very fortunate decision on my part becuase no response came. Went to their house next morning to discover that their email account had been hacked via Whatsapp and the same scam request had gone to other friends one of whom had kissed goodbye to £250 because it seemed so genuine. Apprently Whatsapp is known to be dodgy but Zukerberg is not doing anything about it.
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How was their email address hacked via Whatsapp?

I don't understand how whatsapp would have access to the password used on their email account. I suspect that it might have been a case of someone spoofing their email address rather than having hijacked their email account.

I could, if I was thus inclined, send an email that looked like it was from [email protected]. I would not need access to your email account to do that.

Oh, and yes, I am aware that that the likes of the Pegasus hack exploited iphone/whatsapp vulnerabilities but it was pretty limited to dodgy middle-eastern governments targeting journalists.

The old "I am on holiday and desperately need money/etc" has been around for years, so fair play for not falling for it.

If I received a phone call, I might however fall for it, but only once AI is so convincing that I believe I am talking to a close friend.
I have no idea how their email got hacked they did not tell me except mentioning Whatsapp but when the first message arrived, every detail of their address which appeared on my PC was correct as were the subsequent ones and the one specifically requesting me to obtain an Amazon voucher for £250. I am fairly well clued up on what to look for scam wise and this one came within spitting distance of succeeding with me. I just had a funny feeling that I should ask them to come to ours to do the job which of course ended the attempt.
Nobody gets any money from me unless they come to my house. Even then that is confined to my two daughters. In the unlikely event that anyone else comes begging for ANY reason they are told to **** off. I certainly wouldn't entertain a request for money via email or the phone. I only shop on two online shops and I only use my credit card for those so if I do get scammed, and I haven't yet, I would claim it back from them.
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Yes I have to say any request for money/payment made online would never even get a second glance let alone a response. no matter how genuine it looked, it would just be ignored as I'd assume it was spam or whatever.