Scammers are trying to trick Internet users into wiring them money by pretending to be tourists who have been mugged while vacationing in Kiev, Ukraine.
The scam emails spotted by Bitdefender carry the subject line “Help…Douglas Crandall” and they read something like this:
“I’m writing this with tears in my eyes, my family and I came down here to Kiev, Ukraine for a short vacation, unfortunately we were mugged at the park of the hotel where we stayed all cash, credit card and mobile phone were stolen off us but luckily we still have our passports with us.”
The scammers say they need a “financial loan” of $2,500 to pay the hotel bills. They claim the hotel manager is not letting them go until their bills are paid. The con artists ask for the money to be wired via Western Union. This makes it easy for them to vanish without a trace after they get the money.
It goes without saying that such emails should be ignored. On one hand, with all the protests and conflict in Ukraine, the cybercriminals know that their story might sound legitimate to many people.
On the other hand, who in their right mind would decide to go on a short vacation with their family to Ukraine right now?