New Scam: Held Up at Gunpoint in Wales

I received a desperate email from a well-spoken PR professional in the technology space this morning. His belongings were robbed at gunpoint in Wales and the local police and US embassy could not assist him. Moreover, the hotel was supposedly holding him ransom because he couldn’t pay for his bill. I checked the email account and it was the Gmail address associated with this person. But still the email looked like one of the scams we all get so I was suspicious. There were many grammar and capitalization issues which screamed – “this is not from a PR professional.” But then again who knows how one’s mastery of language can be altered after having their belongings seized.


I decided to call the person and found out his Gmail account was hacked and he can no longer access it. Apparently people who respond via email are being asked to send money. Here is the exact email with no corrections so if you see it you can avoid responding:

It is with deep sorrow and broken heart that am sending you this mail. Am in deep need and my situation is lamentable. my family and I decide to come visit Wales,United Kingdom for a short vacation. To our greatest dismay we were attacked and ripped apart at the park of the hotel where we were lodging,all cash,credit cards and mobiles were forcefully robbed off us at gun point but we still have our passports with us.


We’ve seek help at embassy and high commission,the Police too, unfortunately they have been unable to help or offer any reasonable support whatsoever. Our flight leaves in couple of hour from now but we are being held to ransom by the hotel management because we cannot settle the hotel bills. It is clear we would not be allowed to leave until we do so. Word cannot explain the anguish in my heart now. I am in need of immediate assistance.

  • Bill Burkhardt
    July 1, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    The following e-mail arrived here today.
    I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about my trip … I’m currently in Wales,
    on a short vacation as I write this … what happened today is
    unbelievable, and now I am stuck here. I got mugged at gun point on my
    way to the hotel and my money, credit cards, phone and other valuables
    were stolen. Thank God they did not take my passport. I urgently need
    APPRECIATE ANY AMOUNT YOU CAN AFFORD, I promise to pay you back once I
    get home. I do have cash in my account, but I can’t access it right
    now because I had to cancel all my credit cards that were stolen!! I’m
    sending this from a free internet connection at the public library. I
    will be forever grateful if you can help me. Please respond quickly,
    as my flight leaves in my flight leaves in a few hours and I need to
    pay my hotel bill. Please save me from the embarrassment of not being
    able to cover the charges.

    July 6, 2010 at 11:50 am

    July 06 2010 – Sent from a friend’s hijacked email account
    I’m writing this with tears in my eyes,my fam and I came down here to Wales,United Kingdom for a short vacation unfortunately we were mugged at the park of the hotel where we stayed,all cash,credit card and cell were stolen off us but luckily for us we still have our passports with us.
    We’ve been to the embassy and the Police here but they’re not helping issues at all and our flight leaves in less than few hours from now but we’re having problems settling the hotel bills and the hotel manager won’t let us leave until we settle the bills,i’m freaked out at the moment.
    bloody welshmen.

  • George
    July 6, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    I got a very similar email yesterday, apparently from a friend at I replied, suggesting that it wasn’t serious. I even got a response, saying it wasn’t a joke. So I replied again, asking him to confirm the last place and date when we were together. Nothing since!

  • Unknown
    August 5, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Got this email today…
    I’m sorry this had to come in a hurry,I am caught up in a real mess and i need your help.I regret i didn’t tell you about my trip to the United Kingdom before i left,I am in Wales,United Kingdom and a terrible thing happened to me over the night.I was mugged at gun point , the muggers made away with all my belongings.My cell phone,credit card,cash and some important documents are all gone.I was able to make contact with the UK Police and i was directed to the Embassy, but they seems to be taking things too slow… My flight leaves soon but i am having problems sorting out my hotel bills and also need getting my ticket straightened out. I need your help so urgently, please reply asap.So i can tell you how to go about it..
    Hope to read from you soon..
    this website saved us from sending $$$

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  • Talcum X
    August 25, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    My wife got this emial the other day. After contacting MSN (the host of the email that her friend had the account compromised) We knew it was not from her. If you email back, you get a response giving you where to send money and all that. The account has been temperarily locked to prevent further spam to others.

  • joe
    September 14, 2010 at 11:46 am

    This is the guy who hacked my account:

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