seeking Bill S - got a funny email - from you?

10:08 p.m. on August 18, 2017 (EDT)
67 reviewer rep
757 forum posts

Bill Were you trying t reach me. Sorry guys but theres lots of bandwidth now...

Jim Shaw in Bend

8:38 p.m. on August 29, 2017 (EDT)
4,534 reviewer rep
6,037 forum posts

For those who don't know him, Jim Shaw used to be a very active Trailspace contributor. He was an engineer/scientist who used to go backpacking and climbing with a number of us in the SFBay area, heading to the Sierra, Cascades, and other fun locations. He retired some years ago and moved (along with many other Californians) to Oregon and retirement.

Anyway, to get to the question he raised -

Just before going on a cross country trip, I had done a factory reset on one of my electronic devices. I stopped overnight at a cheap motel. As I knew and was rudely reminded, DO NOT use an open wifi at or associated with cheap motels, fast-food places, hotels (including fancy ones), and according to others, a certain coffee shop chain.

When we arrived at our destination for a planned event, a large number of friends approached me and said they had received a desperate email from me, saying that I was in deep trouble and held in a foreign land - would the recipients of this email click on the address and send money?

Needless to say, everyone noted that I looked healthy, and that they had recognized the scam. There are several ways to recognize such scams, which I will not list here. You can find and install any one of several defense and malware filters - just don't use open wifi systems. Encryption works well - IF you remember to turn it on.

I had to spend a fair amount of time changing passwords and tracking down the leaks (the perps had managed to grab one of my contact lists - AGAIN - do not use any open wifi at such places as motels, hotels (including most fancy hotels), fast-food places with open wifi, and (so I am told) a certain famous coffee shop. As it turns out, I also had made the mistake of doing a "factory reset" of one of my electronic devices and forgotten to reset the filters.

Everyone who received the message, as far as I can tell, recognized the scam, and no one has sent any funds to the perps. Nor have I lost any money (my credit cards recognized a couple fake usages and immediately blocked them, plus replacing the cards).

1:31 p.m. on August 31, 2017 (EDT)
7,173 reviewer rep
1,701 forum posts

I was going to send Liam Neeson to rescue you.  I'll let him know to cancel.

4:03 p.m. on August 31, 2017 (EDT)
125 reviewer rep
3,519 forum posts

My wife got one of those bogus ransom emails - she replied how much more does she have to pay up so they'll keep me.


3:33 p.m. on September 1, 2017 (EDT)
7,665 reviewer rep
2,333 forum posts

my parents received a phone call, ostensibly from a grandchild, who was traveling overseas, spinning a yarn about a car accident, legal troubles, and an immediate need to wire money. the caller knew the names, the location, etc., so it was pretty convincing.

never provide your personal info to any stranger for any reason, and never wire money without double-checking with the individual who is supposedly in need.

April 2, 2020
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