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How to help a Traveler Robbed of everything Overseas

How to help a Traveler Robbed of everything Overseas

Old May 24, 10, 12:39 pm
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Question How to help a Traveler Robbed of everything Overseas

Don't know if this is the best place to post this question, please move if necessary.

I just got an email from a peripheral (American) friend who is not a frequent air traveler that says in part:

removed
I don't have any other info yet, wrote back to him and waiting to hear now (but it may be that a closer friend of his will help him.) I do not know yet why he has his passport but not everything else right now or the details yet of how he missed his flight home ('m guessing this must have happened too close to the time for their departure to return to the US for them to still make their reserved flight.)

One thing I remember hearing about is that there is a very good organization that helps distressed travelers - I remember reading about this in relation to the Iceland volcanic eruption playing havoc with European air travel. Anyone have that info?

Last edited by GrizShel; May 24, 10 at 1:06 pm Reason: removed quote for security purposes
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Old May 24, 10, 12:43 pm
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Be careful. It could be a scam.
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Old May 24, 10, 12:46 pm
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Why would their tickets be canceled?
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Old May 24, 10, 12:47 pm
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Originally Posted by allset2travel View Post
Be careful. It could be a scam.
I know, I've written back to him separately from another email account to confirm this is really from him.
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Old May 24, 10, 12:48 pm
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I agree; it sounds like a scam. Someone might have hacked your friend's email. I'd reply and ask personal questions about your relationship (perhaps specific conversations you've had or mutual friends) to make sure it's really whom you think it is.

It also seems very odd indeed that the airlines would have canceled his tickets (why??).

And why would he reach out to you, a "peripheral" friend?

Proceed with caution.
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Old May 24, 10, 12:52 pm
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Originally Posted by GrizShel View Post
Don't know if this is the best place to post this question, please move if necessary.

I just got an email from a peripheral (American) friend who is not a frequent air traveler that says in part:



I don't have any other info yet, wrote back to him and waiting to hear now (but it may be that a closer friend of his will help him.) I do not know yet why he has his passport but not everything else right now or the details yet of how he missed his flight home ('m guessing this must have happened too close to the time for their departure to return to the US for them to still make their reserved flight.)

One thing I remember hearing about is that there is a very good organization that helps distressed travelers - I remember reading about this in relation to the Iceland volcanic eruption playing havoc with European air travel. Anyone have that info?
Even with no ID, if he were say an Amex customer (or ANY cc customer) he could go into a local office, and verbally give his ssn and other info to confirm his identity and get a replacement card etc.

If he has access to email, he will also have online access to his bank accounts and bank, futher recovering his losses...not to mention access to closer family members.

I think this is a scam.
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Old May 24, 10, 1:05 pm
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Originally Posted by pinworm View Post
Even with no ID, if he were say an Amex customer (or ANY cc customer) he could go into a local office, and verbally give his ssn and other info to confirm his identity and get a replacement card etc.

If he has access to email, he will also have online access to his bank accounts and bank, futher recovering his losses...not to mention access to closer family members.

I think this is a scam.
I guess you must be right, someone must have hijacked his email. I'll be able to find out pretty quickly though whether there is a legitimate issue here.

UPDATE:
Just confirmed that someone did indeed hijack my friend's email.

Last edited by GrizShel; May 24, 10 at 3:02 pm Reason: updated info
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Old May 24, 10, 1:19 pm
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Sounds like the story I get every once-in-a-while from the scammers who prey in parking lots.
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Old May 24, 10, 1:26 pm
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If it’s a scam, you could bait them on a wild goose chase, a la 419 Eater.
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Old May 24, 10, 1:30 pm
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This is a well known scam extensively documented on the internet, for instance here, here, and here.
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Old May 24, 10, 1:34 pm
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Originally Posted by pinworm View Post
Even with no ID, if he were say an Amex customer (or ANY cc customer) he could go into a local office, and verbally give his ssn and other info to confirm his identity and get a replacement card etc.

If he has access to email, he will also have online access to his bank accounts and bank, futher recovering his losses...not to mention access to closer family members.

I think this is a scam.
there's probably no AmEx office in Nigeria?

several years ago, I had a friend who was in a real situation. I sent him
money via the U.S. State Dept. It was then wired to the local U.S. consulate
where he picked up the money in person. They do offer this service for
Americans stranded in a foreign country. The good thing is that the recipient
has to show up at the consulate and provide proof of his identity and US
passport.
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Old May 24, 10, 3:19 pm
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Got a similar message from a friend of mine, turned out someone hacked her e-mail account. Scammer.
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Old May 24, 10, 3:23 pm
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I've gotten a few of these recently - identical messages, all very obvious scams.
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Old May 24, 10, 3:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Braindrain View Post
Sounds like the story I get every once-in-a-while from the scammers who prey in parking lots.
Yep..."Help, I am from out of town and I was robbed and need gas money back home I hate to ask but..."
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Old May 24, 10, 3:37 pm
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Yeah, pretty common scam. Was up early one morning and my "Wife" IM'ed me saying she was overseas and had been robbed, wire money please. Only problem, she was still in bed. So unless she caught a super fast flight to St. Petersburg in the last 15 minutes...
I strung'em along for a couple hours while Yahoo tracked them down to Russia, and restored access to us before they could do any serious damage.
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