I’m sorry I didn’t inform you about my traveling…

Talking about more Scam emails, here we have one that I think is becoming common in Cambodia targeting officials, expatriates and humanitarian workers. It involves the hack of your email account. The hacker sends an email in your name saying you are in an expected travel to somewhere in the world, then you lost your money, passport and everything by any circumstance. Now you are trapped in a foreign soil where you know nobody. May you send me some… to say, 2,900 Euros? I will give you back as soon as arrive home. As I have nothing more, please use the Western Union


Here some recommendations:

1. Do not replay this email at all.

2. Try to notify the victim (the person who was hacked) by another means of the action (another email or by phone). This person should change immediately the password, increase security measures in his/her account and probably choose a best email service (if you represent an organization or official department, use webmails instead free email servers; Hotmail is the weakest one to these cases, but even Hotmail can be empower with good security and Gmail is so far the most sophisticated and secure one.)

3. The victim should know that the hacker acceded to his/her account and it could access to sensitive data, so he/she must change other passwords from any other service if they were mentioned in emails or chats before.

4. It is not needed to produce an email to all the contacts explaining that he or she was hacked and that the message saying blablabla was a fake, etc. Most contacts know it already, so do not send more unnecessary Spam. If any particular contact requests an explanation, explain to that particular contact.

5. If you work in a sensitive organization, please take time to learn all the tricks of security over emails and Chats. Do not be lazy to change passwords regularly, to create well elaborated passwords (passwords of three digits, only numbers, words to familiar to your public life, etc.) are prompted to be hacked. Gmail offers now a second key code to protect your account. Use it. Do not access your more delicate email in insecure networks (free WiFi in hotels, airports, restaurants…), they can reveal your password. Have more than one email and categorize them: emails’company, emails’ family, email’s pals… All this takes time, but they can prevent you from future headache. Here a strong password generator if you are lazy to invent your own: http://strongpasswordgenerator.com/

6. Do not say passwords through Chats or even emails to other people.

7. Learn to use To, CC and BCC. It is polite and respectful of the privacy rights of your contacts.

  • You put in To the email address of the direct person I am writing to.
  • You put in CC (it stands for Carbon Copy) the email address of a person that you need to notify about your email, making known to your main receptor that that person is also notified and he/she concerns to the topic of the conversation.
  • You put in BCC (it stands for Blind Carbon Copy) the email address of a person who must be notified of your email, but it hides the main receptor and those in CC. Use it carefully:
    • Only when you want to send a message to several addresses, for example your contact list. This tool hides the addresses to the rest of the receptors, keeping privacy issues. Everybody that receive a copy, will see only his/her own address and the addresses written in To and CC. Useful for emails in companies, organizations, etc, to send notifications. Those chain beautiful messages you would like to share with your contacts, must use it. If you put all addresses on To or CC, the addresses will be displaced in the text body and it violates privacy of others.
    • If you send a BCC to a person, you hide his/her address from the main receptors. It means the main receptors does not know a BCC was sent to a third part. Then, the decision depends on your prudence and it must have a good justification. For example, you deal with a person in a subordinate position in your organization and your boss needs to follow it…

Here the most usual text from the ‘I’m sorry I didn’t inform you about my traveling’ Scam:


Hope you are doing well today? I’m sorry I didn’t inform you about my traveling…  I am presently in Valencia, Spain as I write to you now, I am writing to ask you to please loan me 2900 EUROS today! I had traveled to Spain for Emergency program which I got myself stranded after I was robbed in a hotel where I lodged and all the money I have was stolen including my phone And other valuable things were taken away from me by those criminals. However, I spoke to the hotel management to know if they can allow me go out and make calls but they refused due to the fact that I have not paid my bills but they only gave me internet access so that I could contact whom ever that can help me. Now I need 2900 EUROS to settle my bills and get a flight ticket back home. I will appreciate any amount you can quickly arrange and send to me now if you are not buoyant enough through Western Union with the details below I will return the money back to you as soon as I get home Please.

Name: H…

Address: C/Pintor Maella, 35. Valencia 46023, Spain.

Please remember to send me full details of the transfer such as MTCN (money transfer control number) or scan copy of the transfer receipt so that i can get the money here without any delay or problem. I will pay back the money to you including the transfer charges on my arrival. I will check my e-mail again to have the western union transfer details. Please use my name and the address above and make the payment.

Thank you for your help

Sincerely F…



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About Albeiro Rodas

Albeiro Rodas (in Cambodia Sky Ly Samnang), is a MA in Digital Communication, independent journalist and a Salesian of Don Bosco from Amalfi, Colombia, based in Cambodia since 1999. He is the creator of the Don Bosco schools of journalism in Sihanoukville and Kep with young people from poor communities and the founder of the Don Bosco Kep Children Fund. Medal for Social Commitment UPB (2010); among the 100 more upstanding Colombians abroad (Marca Colombia, 2012, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X39xwdGtVXI) and among the 12 Colombians that are making this a better world 2013 (http://www.colombia.co/en/culture/colombians-that-are-making-this-a-better-world.html).

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