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Fraudsters scam gap year parents

23rd August 2010

The parents of those away on gap years are being warned to watch out for a scam where hackers log-in to their child’s emails and send desperate emails asking for money.

The parents are led to believe that their son or daughter is being detained in jail for a crime they didn’t commit. They are told that if money is wired over to them, they will be released.

Be wary of strange emails

Parents whose children are abroad should be wary of strange emails like these that appear to be from their children in trouble. They should attempt to verify such requests before taking any action.

Anyone who travels abroad should follow the same computer safety as they do when at home, and take particular care to protect passwords and log-in information.

If a relative or friend tells you they have been arrested abroad, you can call the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) on 0207 008 1500 for help.

The FCO also advises any British person planning to travel abroad to register with their LOCATE service. LOCATE helps the FCO provide British people abroad with better assistance in emergency situations and helps family and friends get in touch. Visit the FCO’s website for more information.

Read more about a case of the gap year scam on Wales Online’s website.

Please note: Action Fraud is not responsible for the content on external websites.

To report a fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.

See also: 
Account takeover
Online fraud
Advance fee fraud