7 February 2011

Geologist scam

Posted by Callan Bentley

I just got an e-mail which screams “scam!”

Apologies for having to reach out to you like this, but I made a quick trip to the UK and had my bag stolen from me with my passport and credit cards in it. The  embassy has cooperated by issuing a temporary passport, I just have to pay for a ticket  and settle
Hotel bills.

To be honest,i don’t have money with me,I’ve made contact with my bank but the best they could do was to send me a new card in the mail which will take 2-4 working days to arrive here.i was thinking of asking you to lend me some quick funds that i can give back as soon as i am out  of here,i  really need to make a last minute flight.

I can furnish you with info on how you will get me the money. You can reach me via hotel’s desk phone, the number is, +44 1224 722381.


I have removed the name of the “sender” because I don’t think it’s really the sender. The name given was of a geologist from a Florida university and I suspect it was copied wholesale off of his website. The source address was not the university e-mail, but a gmail account.

It appears to be a new(?) flavor of scam where the scammer pretends to be a geologist and reaches out to another geologist for money. The tip off for me? I’ve never met or heard of this particular geologist before. Professional courtesy is one thing, but this scammer’s approach is apparently shot-gun like, trying to find a professional connection by getting at least one email through to someone who knows the geologist whose identity has been stolen.

I trust most geologists are savvy enough to sniff out the fake — but just in case, I figured I should post a note here. Anyone else getting emails like this one?