Real estate management firm Andy Lee Company has become the latest victim of an online scam.  Several area businesses and individuals have reportedly received an email, allegedly from Andy Lee, asking for help.

The email states that Lee is in London, England and has been robbed of his cell phone, cash and credit cards and is need of financial assistance.  News Talk 1290 spoke with Del Lee, father of Andy Lee, who confirmed to News Talk 1290 that it is in fact a scam.


The Wichita Falls BBB's Monica Horton released the following:

BBB in the last few days has received emails from “friends in need”. These scammers pose as our friends and family. These scammers hacked your friend or relatives email account. Here is what one recent email said:

Date: 11/16/2011 Subject: Awful Trip!!!... How's everything on your end? This has had to come in a hurry and it has left me in a devastating state. I traveled to London,England for a Voluntary Training Program (VTP), and unfortunately for me all my money and cellphone was stolen at the hotel where I was staying by four armed robbers. The Embassy only cleared me of my traveling documents since I came in on unofficial purposes. The hotel telephone lines were disconnected during the robbery incident,so I have access to only emails. My return flight back home is scheduled to leave in few hours from now but I've got to settle my bills before I'm allowed to leave....Now am freaked out....Please i need your help.. Hope to read from you soon. Thanks and Regards.

Horton goes onto say that, "To see past the disguise, you need to be alert to signs of an impostor scam: They want you to wire money. Wiring money is like sending cash; once it's gone, you can't get it back. Don't send a check or money order by overnight delivery or courier, either. And don't deposit a check you’ve received and wire money back — the check will turn out to be a fake. Con artists tell you to use these services so they can get your money before you realize you've been cheated. They want you to act now. The key to successful impostor scams is getting you to send money before you find out who's really on the other end. The more time you have, the more likely you'll figure it out. Resist the pressure to act immediately before you've checked it out. These emails are rife with grammatical and spelling errors. Most online fraud is perpetrated by scammers located outside the U.S. Their first language usually isn’t English and this is often evident in their poor grasp of the language which can include poor grammar and the misspelling of common words."

Horton says developing a secret code that is known only within the family is also recommended. The BBB also encourages people to limit the amount of personal information shared on social media sites and to only “friend” people they personally know themselves

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