I suspect that no one reading this website is foolish enough to fall for this scam, but I thought I'd share my experience with it anyway.
It starts with an email from someone you know:
The first time I got one, I wrote back inquisitively:
and got a quick reply:
The second time it happened, just yesterday, the message was very similar, although I don't recognise Theodore's name.
Again I wrote back, eager to help:
This time, they wrote back with a new name:
I'll follow up & try to get Ted/Mary home, but in the meantime, be on the lookout for this type of scam. Be particularly wary of Western Union transfers, because only a photo ID is needed to pick up the money, and the recipient can pick it up from any location without leaving any trail whatsoever.
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April 21, 2010.