I've had an amazingly terrible week, and it all came to a head yesterday when my Dad's email account got HACKED!
The person who got into it sent out one of those typical scam letters pretending to be my father and asking for money to be sent to him in another country, sending the same email to every contact in the address book. I started getting calls and emails from people telling me my Dad's account had been hacked early in the morning, but I didn't think that much of it because it was such a fake-looking email, I figured it would just be annoying for my Dad but not involve any real problems.
This was until I got a phone call from someone on their way to the bank to send the money! It hadn't occured to me that people fall for these emails, but apparently they do! I spent most of yesterday trying to contact everyone we know to tell them this is a scam. It couldn't have happened at a worse time because my parents are on a trip with no cell phone connection, so people who tried to call him when they got the email couldn't reach him and started thinking it might be true!
I've found at least 4 people who were set to send this scammer money before I got involved! I cannot believe this happened and I wasted an entire day handling it, but I'm so glad I was able to prevent people from being victimized. I've notified Hotmail and filed an IC3 complaint, but I don't think they'll do much since no one (as far as I know!) actually lost money. If I find out someone actually did send money I will be calling my local FBI office directly, don't you worry!
Spending all day on edge waiting to hear from relatives and former coworkers left me so stressed out I couldn't eat, knit, or even watch TV. I kept replaying everything in my head, trying to call my parents and not getting through (stupid satellite phones! argh!), trying to think of ways to get back at the bastard, and generally working myself up into a huge frenzy. When I got home I made myself a huge margarita and passed right out before 10pm.
I sincerely hope this a**hole dies a slow, painful, lonely death for what he put us through. I am so full of anger that I can't even imagine how people who've actually been defrauded feel.
I hope this never happens to any of you, but please try to avoid our fate and make your passwords more secure! Do it NOW!!