WHAT would you do if a long-lost friend or work colleague told you they’d been robbed at gunpoint in Dubai and needed you to send them money?
Orange naturopath Yvette McRae hopes you’d do nothing.
Ms McRae has become the latest victim of an email scam that saw thieves target 600 people in her email address book hoping a fake sob story about her predicament would prompt them to transfer cash to a bogus bank account via Western Union.
In the email a person purporting to be Ms McRae says she’s had all of her belongings including cash, a cellphone and credit cards stolen by a gunman in Dubai.
The email told Ms McRae’s contacts she was “writing you from a local library cybercafe, I need your help flying back home as I am trying to raise some money”.
Ms McRae told the Central Western Daily she was shocked to have been targeted by the scam and believes it happened after she responded to a request to update her computer’s security.
“The email I got said all I had to do was reply to the email and verify my name and enter a password,” she said.
“It all looked completely legitimate.”
Ms McRae said she first heard about the letter being sent on her behalf when she was inundated with phone calls from friends.
“I really hope that no one is duped,” she said.
“Anyone that knows me knows I wouldn’t go to Dubai ... and I wouldn’t ask for money.”
Ms McRae said she wanted to warn people to be cautious when responding to unsolicited emails.
“People need to think twice before they respond to any emails,” she said.
“It really feels terrible, it feels like I’ve been violated.”