A BRITISH pensioner has been scammed out of €1,500 by someone posing as her friend.
Police are investigating after Margaret Magnus, 71, received an email supposedly from her neighbour David Craft claiming he had been mugged in Madrid and needed money to help pay his hotel bill.
Not wanting to let a friend down, Magnus promptly sent the money via Western Union in Fuengirola, only to discover a week later that her email had been hacked by someone in Nigeria.
“I didn’t even think about it, I got an email saying he had lost everything and I just sent the money,” explained Magnus, who has lived in Mijas for 17 years.
“It was only when I received another email saying he hadn’t received the money and could I send some more that I sussed it out.
“I straight away re-read the email and realised it didn’t sound like David.
“I checked my bank account and the money was gone.”
It turned out that the fraudsters had gone through Craft’s entire contact book looking for victims. Luckily no-one else sent money.
His email provider Yahoo later confirmed the email originated in Nigeria.
“But someone picked the money up in Madrid so there is more than one person,” continued Magnus.
“Plus whoever claimed the money had no passport or documentation, which means Western Union just gave it to them without checking.”
Police are now investigating the case, as well as an identical one a month earlier.
“They told me not to use my computer in case the same thing happens with my account, so I am being very careful,” she added.