My friend's GMail account was recently hacked and the perpetrator sent out one of those classic "help I was mugged, I need money" style e-mails. (Edit: I know it's legit; my friend called me to tell me she'd been hacked.)
I figured this would be a fun experiment. This is perhaps more suited for a forum, but I have the most faith in this community.
The text is below. I'd appreciate suggestions on the best way to catch this person or coax them into providing more information for me to track them.
Update: The address given appears to be the Hilton at the Madrid airport. Anyone know who I can contact?
Edit: To clarify -- Account recovery is ongoing, but if he's going to keep her account, I figured I might try to catch him.
The perp's first message:
Hello, How are you faring? I hope my email finds you in good condition. I'm really sorry for this emergency and for not informing you about my urgent trip to Maldrid Spain but I just have to let you you my present predicament. Though everything was fine until I was attacked on my way to the hotel. I wasn't hurt but I lost my money, bank cards, mobile phone and my bag in the course of this attack. I have immediately contacted my bank in other to block my cards and also made a report at the nearest police station.
Meanwhile, I have also thought it expedient for me to confide this in you and I will be glad to have it confidential between us. I'm physically ok and fine but I'm urgently in need of some money to complete my major aim of being here and to balance my bills till my departure next weekend. Can you please lend me a sum of 2500 euros or any amount you can afford to lend out? I will refund you even with interest upon my arrival back home.
Kindly let me know if you would be able to help me out with the money or any amount you can afford, I can then forward you the details require for a wire transfer via the western union money transfer service. I don't yet have a local phone (still gathering my bearings and such), so email is probably the best form of contact for now.
I will expect your response soon.
Hi [Friend's Name],
I'm so sorry that you've run into financial trouble! I hope the police help you find your attacker. The world can be scary when traveling abroad.
I think I might be able to lend you the 2500 Euro worth, as long as it's temporary. No need for interest.
What should I do as a next step?
Hope you're able to get a phone set up soon. Either way, good luck and please let me know how I can help! -- [My Name]
Hello [My Name],
Thank you for the concern and help, I sent the message to you because I believe I can confide in you and make this personal till I get back to my feet. I will so much appreciate it if you are able to lend me the sum of money needed. I will refund you soon as I get back home.
I was able to find out how you can transfer money to me Via Western union Money Transfer because I put a temporary stop on my Accounts, all I need is my passport to receive the money here in Spain. There is a western union here in the airport.
You will need the details below at western union to make the money transfer :
Name : [Friends Name] Address: Avenida de la Hispanidad, s/n, 28042 Madrid, Spain
As soon as you're able to complete the transfer, Please email me with the necessary details to receive the money and also let me know how you want the money refunded to you so I can make the arrangements to get it to you as soon as I get back home. Please Write back Soon.