A RIVERINA sporting club has been swept up in an elaborate scam after a Nigerian conman hacked its email and sent a plea for money to its entire address book.
Barellan United Football Club secretary Kim Hillman said she was “disgusted” when her name and personal details were attached to an email sent to all the club’s contacts asking for close to $2000 to help her get home from London.
With the subject line “My Terrible Trip ... Kim Hillman”, the email claims Ms Hillman was stranded in London after she lost her wallet and mobile phone and required a loan of $US1850 to pay for hotels and “get my sorry self back home”.
Ms Hillman’s name and phone number and the club’s postal and email address were at the bottom of the plea.
The scam has all the hallmarks of a Nigerian 419 scam, often crudely worded emails, falsely telling recipients they have won an overseas lottery or inherited a large sum of money from an unknown person or relative.
Indeed, Ms Hillman said a check of her Yahoo email revealed the last person to log in did so from a Nigerian internet cafe.
“It’s scary stuff,” a shaken Ms Hillman said yesterday.
“My mobile has been running hot all day and it’s just a horrible feeling.”
Compounding matters for the club, the entire email inbox and address book have been deleted by the scammers.
Griffith police crime co-ordinator Kim Traynor said the scammers’ use of Ms Hillman’s name in the email was a disturbing sign.
“These scams are getting more sophisticated and they are varying the style of email to appear more genuine,” Sergeant Traynor said.
“Our message is always that people shouldn’t take anything on face value.
“Whether it’s an email, a phone call, an invoice or even an invitation, you should always check the source before giving money over.”