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Scam involving email saying friends, family in trouble overseas hits county

SAN DIEGO - The San Diego area office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued an alert that an Internet scam has hit the area leading people to believe that a friend, business associate or family member is in trouble overseas and needs help. The Village News has received calls from Fallbrook residents who have received these emails in the past week.

Special Agent Darrell Foxworth reported that computer hackers are infiltrating email accounts and social networking sites to assume someone's identity and send messages to people on those email contact lists saying they've been robbed in a foreign country and are in need of financial help.

The Internet Crimes Complaint Center has said the email messages are written with a sense of urgency and say that the sender only has a few days to pay a hotel bill for their friend or family member and that they will be reimbursed when the person returns home.

Foxworth said with the summer travel season under way, and the proximity of Mexico, it is especially important for San Diego County residents to be aware of the scam and carefully evaluate any messages they receive of that type.

Anyone who receives a message meeting this description should report it to the Internet Crimes Complaint Center at


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