I got an email this morning from my "cousin" - it came from her actual email account, but I knew immediately that it wasn't from her:
I'm writing this with tears in my eyes, Am sorry i never inform you about my trip.actually went on a short vacation to visit a resort in London England. unfortunately i got mugged at gun point on my way back to the hotel i lodge,all cash,credit card and cell were stolen off me but luckily for me still have my passports with me.
I've been to the embassy and the Police here but they're not helping issues at all and my flight leaves in some hrs from now but am are having problems settling the hotel bills and the hotel manager won't let me leave until i settle the bills,
I'm freaked out at the moment.
This is a variation of a scam that's been going around for a few years. These horrible people are assuming that you're naive, but kind-hearted, and that you'll gladly and without question wire them money.
Of course, I interact with my cousin on Facebook fairly frequently, and I'm reasonably sure she is not currently in London. Regardless, the bad grammar would've tipped me off that this is a total crock.
Anyway, I hit "reply" on that email and sent back this link:
and of course, I called my cousin to inform her that someone is using her email account to try and scam people. I hope she gets this resolved quickly. I'm enraged on her behalf.
So, if you weren't aware of this scam, now you know. This was ridiculously transparent, but it never hurts to get the word out about this sort of thing, because people do fall for it.