I Am Not In England…

July 22, 2009 beach old cam 041 (2)

…although that is a nice place and someday soon I hope to visit there.

The beach vacation ended with a rude jolt. Apparently someone hacked into my email account and sent requests for money to those listed in the address book, saying I was stuck in England and needed cash ASAP. Most of the addresses were of family members, but a few bloggers were also contacted whose email addresses were on there as well. I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused anyone and assure you it is some type of spam hacking experience. This has never happened to me before and I am not sure what steps to take. My email password has been changed preventing my signing in to the account to report this situation. It does seem the blog is safe.

Well thank goodness for that.

I can be contacted via comments on this post.


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41 Responses to I Am Not In England…

  1. Gail says:

    Frances, What a pain in the bottom~~and at the end of vacation, too! Hopefully you’ll be able to work this out and soon. I know it is unsettling; it would be for any of us. Hang in there~~gail

    Thanks Gail for your help. Someday I may actually be in England and might send out an email asking for money and it will be assumed to be spam! HA Sometimes we have to laugh to keep from crying.

  2. James says:

    How very unfortunate. Mind you, if you are in England and find yourself a bit short then please feel free to give me a call.

    Thanks for that, James. When I do come I will be asking for some contact info. HA

  3. Hi Frances, I did get this email and knew something wasn’t right. Have you contacted MSN? I’m sure this experience has been very unnerving for you!

    Thanks, Monica. This is both alarming and embarrassing, but I am fine. I have contacted MSN and now have to wait for 24 hours for it to be sorted out. Honestly, I am not feeling confident that it will be that easy.

  4. Thanks for posting this Frances, I knew you were not in England …. but I did get the e-mail, we realized it was the worst kind of spam, and were concerned for you, and not inconvenienced. Hope you manage to get it sorted out 😦

    I also hope that you had a great holiday! 🙂

    Hi Karen, thanks for your concern. We are working on a solution now and I have calmed down a bit after the initial panic attack. The beach trip was wonderful and what I had planned to make the next post about, not this spammy scammy. HA

  5. tina says:

    Ha! That was funny. I got one of them. I knew it was a spam thing and that your email was hacked. Some email programs are vulnerable and it would appear MSN is one of them. You just cannot get away from these sorry low lifes to do this to anyone. Instead of them trying to make a living they try to take from others. I saved the copy if you find out how to contact MSN I’d be happy to send it in as evidence or whatever. Enjoy your beach vacation and do not worry, no inconvenience.

    Hi Tina, it is getting funnier as I have settled down a little. Funny because I really am planning on going to England sometime. I am waiting 24 hours for MSN to fix it. I might ask for you to hang on to it until I can get another email account. I can’t even get into my regular email account to see what is in there after a weeks absence either. Annoying.

  6. hayefield says:

    Poor Frances – what a thing to have to deal with. But you can be sure that anyone who reads your blog knows that you write far better than the losers who sent that message!

    Thanks, Nan, what a nice thing to say in a poor situation. I have yet to see the message, but it will be one for the memoirs. HA

  7. lynn says:

    I was waiting for the “GOTCHA” part at the end of your post..lol..just have to laugh about it, Frances..no one was fooled! After this is all cleared, you may need a mini vacation 😉

    Hi Lynn, thanks. I am somewhat less stressed at the moment. Somewhat. Not on the list of things to do when returning home from a week at the beach.

  8. The mind boggles at the creativity and ingenuity wasted on such spam capers. I have heard of this happening to other people and I have received those sorts of messages too, but generally our email (embarq) is pretty well firewalled.

    Glad you are getting to the point where the humorous side hits you. What a pain, though.

    Thanks Hands. I have received the send the money to Nigeria emails too. England is at least someplace I might actually be. It is a pain and all the ramifications have yet to be seen.

  9. lynn says:

    Oh..forgot! Can’t wait for more pictures..this one is beautiful!!

    Thanks, Lynn. The beach was wonderful and there will be a real post when there is time to devote to it.

  10. michelle says:

    Thats scary but I’m glad your not trapped in England. though that wouldn’t be too bad. Its so strange that someone would want to hack into personal emails. Dirty thieves!

    Hi Michelle, thanks. England wouldn’t be a bad place to be trapped, I agree. This does seem a very strange way to make, or steal a buck.

  11. gittan says:

    Hi my dear Frances. I did get that mail but feelt that something was very wrong about it. I’m glad you’re home and ok / dubbel kram gittan

    Dear Gittan, thank you for your concern. This is irritating but I feel sure no one in my email address book would fall for this scheme to get money. I am back home and fine, just annoyed at having to deal with this. Thanks for the double kram, my friend and the same to you.

  12. Joanne says:

    Oh such a nuisance particularly as you can not access it to sort it out. Love the beach photo looks so inviting.

    Hi Joanne, thanks. It is a nuisance and I do hope that is all there is to it. Tomorrow it should be straightened out, I hope. The beach was wonderful and there will be a post coming soon, I hope for that as well.

  13. Guess you got my note about this today. I told DH over lunch that I need to blog about this as you aren’t the only person’s email who was hacked. I took my email address off of my blog several weeks ago after seeing that same “stuck in England” email from several other folks on Hotmail accounts.


    Hi Cameron, I did not get your note because I cannot access my email account. It has been reported to msn and I do hope to get into it tomorrow. I might be contacting you about the other scam emails you have received.

    • Frances — the other emails said exactly, word for word, what was said in the one “from” you. Your email address was spoofed. I really don’t think anyone got into your account, just someone’s contact list that had you in it. I blogged about the technical side of these scams today to make sure folks understand a scam/spam when they see it. Because we do travel internationally, I would really hate for someone to get that email “from” my email address!

      Thanks Cameron. Your post should be on the *must read* list for all of us. In my case it does seem that they hacked into my email account, for the password has been changed. Tomorrow it should be open for me to change the password, I hope! If you have any other suggestions about how to fix this and prevent it in the future, I am all ears!

  14. Pam/Digging says:

    I knew you’d never write with such poor punctuation, Frances, or sign off “with gusto.” Ha! What a pain in the butt though. I’m sorry you’re having to go through so much trouble to get it straightened out. Good luck.

    Thanks Pam. I have now read the original email and it is not my style. HA We shall see how difficult this is to repair, such a pain is right.

  15. Kathy says:

    I actually phoned you because I knew an email wouldn’t reach you at that address. If it were me, I’d find a new email provider. And come up with a more secure password.

    Thanks, Kathy. I did receive your call and appreciate your letting me know about this. The Financier is on the case now, thank goodness. The password has to be changed to get into that email account. I hope MSN will allow me to do that tomorrow, for it was blocked today. Sigh, such a pain.

  16. Patsi says:

    Sorry to hear about your troubles.
    Have no idea how that can happen.
    Makes you wonder…

    Thanks, Patsi. Having my email account messed up is affecting many more things than just emailing also it seems. I am having trouble logging in onto other sites that are registered under that email address. Arggghhhh!

  17. I am so sorry this happened to you. I hope you get it resolved soon.

    Thanks, MMD, me too. Who knew it could cause so much trouble?

  18. Glad to read you have a copy of the e-mail from England now Frances. This is not spam. This is fraud and theft. I would suggest you contact the local police and see if they have an internet division and if not who you should contact in Tennessee about this. It is possible that this could be traced since they requested a reply to send instructions for the Western Union moneygram. I was tempted to play stupid and do that, but my concern for you won out.

    Hi Christopher, thanks for your help. I do plan on contacting our police to see what they think. Offspring Gardoctor actually did contact the creeps saying he was interested in sending money and was sent an address to send the money via Western Union in England that turned out to be the address of a Western Union office there. In Kensington. What I really want is to get into my email account so it can be cleaned out of any information usable by the unscrupulous. Maybe tomorrow. I appreciate your contacting me.

  19. This is all so scary, Frances! Like others, I got the email this morning and wondered what was up. I had to go give a talk this afternoon or else I was going to start sleuthing to figure out how to contact you. And I considered doing something to get in touch with the ‘you’ that was doing the corresponding, but it would have been even MORE crossborder, so I didn’t. I think I’ll let the RCMP fraud squad here know about this latest threat to identity, in case this one is as new to them as it was to me.

    I’m A. Glad you’re safe 😉 B. Glad that you’re aware of all this and getting it resolved, and C. Glad you did have a good week at the beach, even if not in England.

    Hi Jodi, thanks for all the good cheer. I need it. It seems that the email address is attached to so many things that I cannot access now. Discovering what has happened may just be the tip of a very large iceburg. This is going to require diligence to resolve. I do appreciate your concern too.

  20. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I knew it was spam Frances. How awful! I wish they could get the rat that did this. I got the email and I knew it was a fake. BAD PEOPLE. Not you I don’t blame you at all. It is just amazing what some people will do.

    Hi Lisa, thanks for your support. I have received those requests to send money, not to England but to Nigeria and just deleted them. This one somehow changed the password so I can’t access the email account. So many things are registered under that email, Blotanical, blogger, it is a big pain. I can’t change or fix anything it seems either. Arghhhh!

  21. Dave says:

    Wow, sorry to hear about that! Can you report it to the management of the email server? I hope it gets fixed for you!

    Thanks, Dave. I am working on it without a whole lot of success at the moment.

  22. Lola says:

    That is an awful thing for anyone to do. It takes a real sorry person to try something such as that. It really makes one angry for this kind of thing to be done.
    I hope you can find that sorry person & that they will be prosecuted to the limit of the law.

    Thanks for your support, Lola. I am trying to get this resolved and hope they throw the book at whoever did this, but don’t hold much hope of their being caught.

  23. Kanak says:

    Sorry to hear about this unpleasant experience, Frances. The wonders, both good and bad, of technology….Your beach photo is very inviting. Take care.

    Thanks, Kanak. I appreciate that.

  24. tony says:

    Hey, I’m a new blogger you can find here at http://desmoinesflowersguide.com, and your site is very related to mine; I thought it would be beneficial for both of us to do a blogroll link exchange. Please let me know if you’re interested.

    Maybe later, Tony.

  25. Beckie says:

    Well, just the thing to end your vacation. Thanks for posting about this. It should help to make us more careful with our own email. I have heard we should change passwords every few days or at least once a month.

    Thanks Beckie. There is still laundry piled to the ceiling while I deal with this mess. It is not going well either. Do take those steps to protect your email, it is a big pain to try and fix it, if even possible.

  26. chuck b. says:

    How awful. And how awful that *I* didn’t get an e-mail about this… Harrumpff! 🙂

    Don’t be indignant, Chuck, you were for sure in the address book. Maybe your junk mail filter kicked it out?

  27. Jake says:

    I find it so irritating that people take the time to do this for no reason. I hope no one sent this spammer any money and I hope you get everything figured out.


    Thanks, Jake. It is very unlikely that anyone in my address book would fall for this. My friends and family are the opposite of gullible and know I would not ever write such an email as this.

  28. Darla says:

    Some people have way too much time on their hands. Sorry to hear of this Frances….

    Hi Darla, thanks for your sympathy. I need it, as the efforts to get into my email is proving nearly impossible to fix, so far anyway.

  29. Lzyjo says:

    OMG, I’m so sorry to hear about this, Francis! Good people don’t deserve this kind of thing. Try contacting your provider. Hopefully they’re be able to resolve the situation.

    Beautiful photo the lighting is amazing!

    Thanks Lzyjo. I have been in contact with MSN to try and get this straightened out for the last three days. So far, it has not been fruitful. Sigh.

  30. Layanee says:

    Frances: I did get this email and knew you were home and wondered who that could be. I guess we should all be aware of the potential harm. What a pain in the neck. Stay calm!

    Hi Layanee, thanks for the stay calm advice, for it is starting to get to me. Many efforts have been made without success. So far.

  31. Janet says:

    I read Cameron’s post first and wasn’t sure of what had transpired. What a mess. I have been getting a lot of pop up windows this morning. Not sure what is going on with that. GREMLINS!

    Thanks, Janet. It is a mess, and not an easy fix it seems.

  32. Joanne says:

    Hi Francis I do hope you are able to sort your e mail out without too much trouble.
    I had to say thank you so much for your inspirational blog and especially the photos.
    I am so enjoying my new camera and it is exciting learning lots of new things. Frustrating too.
    I am in the middle of downloading a video to my blog in three parts the first has at last worked. I have been struggling all week and with daughter’s help and chance I did get one to work so waiting for the other two.
    I expect you saw Jan Thank’s for today latest post on her lyme Disease which she now realises dates back to 2007 and symptoms not disimilar to mine. So Chronic not as she first suspected an early diagnosis which will mean much longer treatment. Sadly she also realises that her son’s health problems are probably also lyme and so they are both going to LLMD. Thank goodness she was able to get up to speed from the links on my blog.
    When I sent you a message through blotanical it was her son I was concerned about after Jan and I had been intouch.
    Ah well here I go again on my hobby horse.
    I must get back to my blog and see how the download is going.
    Fingers crossed for you sorting IT out easily.

    Thanks Joanne. I have not had time to read any posts since returning from vacation. This email problem is taking up all the spare time after trying to get things sorted after being away for a long time. So sorry about Jan and her son. Hope the treatment will help them.

  33. marmee says:

    how irritating especially at the end of your vacation. let us know what you have to do to get this taken care of.
    hope you had a wonderful vaca otherwise.

    Thanks Marmee. The vacation was wonderful, this mess is the opposite of that.

  34. Jean says:

    Wow, that is awful! I haven’t heard of that but I do hope whatever caused it isn’t catching! Lovely beach photo (small compensense).

    Thanks Jean. I hope it doesn’t happen to anyone else too. The fix seems quite far away at the moment. Sigh.

  35. Steve says:

    Hey, Frances, now that you mention it, why not send me a few thousand for my water feature addiction work? 😉 Honestly, I promise not more than 20-25% of it would go toward beer.

    What a pain for you. Hackers are all over.

    Sure Steve. Look for the cash to come from the person in England who stole my email account. The beer percentage is clearly up to your discretion. This is a gigantic pain and not close to a solution either, despite repeated contacts with msn. Argh.

  36. The things people do. I guess they continue because, sadly, it works from time to time. Sorry it happened to you. H.

    Thanks for the support, Helen. I feel sure no one in my address book sent them anything. They chose the wrong group to appeal to.

  37. Rose says:

    I thought you were at the beach…How awful about the hacker, though! I don’t think I got one of those e-mails, but I haven’t checked all my e-mail carefully this past week. As concerned as I would have been about you, Frances, I certainly wouldn’t have sent any money without checking with you first:) This would be pretty funny if it wasn’t scary at the same time.

  38. Oh, Honey, I am so sorry this happened to you, and I don’t know how you fix it, but what a rude thing for them to do. Let us know when you get a new email account. I hope you still enjoyed your beach vacay.~~Dee

  39. Phillip says:

    I didn’t get the e-mail but I’m glad you got everything under control. How annoying!

  40. Racquel says:

    What an annoyance to deal with while you’re on vacation. Great shot of the beach, so inviting. 🙂

    Hi Racquel, thanks for the sympathy. We were lucky to not know about this until we returned home, so it did not spoil a wonderful beach trip, thank goodness.

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