Get ready for a terrible story from someone you know — but before you get out your wallets, read on.
It will go (punctuation and grammar errors included) something like this:
“Hi, I’m writing this with tears in my eyes, i came down here to Madrid Spain. for a short vacation to visit a resort and got mugged at gun point last night at the park of the hotel where i lodged. All cash, credit cards and cell were stolen off me. The Police here but they’re not helping issues at all, my flight leaves today and I’m having problems settling the hotel bills ... i can give you the necessary details you will need to get the cash to me via western union money transfer, i promise to pay you back as soon as i get home.”
You may, like many others around town, soon be receiving a similar plea for help via email, Facebook, phone call or other social media connection.
This particular plea for help was received here at the Hood River News in several reporters’ in-boxes that had exchanged previous emails with a local pastor.
Needless to say the Hood River pastor was not the author of the desperate tale. Nor was this the first money request to arrive in local inboxes with a dramatic “summer vacation gone wrong” theme tied to the scam.
In fact, the emails were received just a few hours after one that came in overnight from a Sandy funeral home, with virtually the same text and intention — to get the reader to send money.
Much like the rich, productive soil of a summer garden in full bloom, the Internet is nurturing a huge harvest of scam activities which soon will make it to your front door, not unlike those oversized squash your neighbor keeps dropping off.
And, like the astute neighbor that you are, you can be ready to fend off those unwanted deliveries.