By David F. Rooney
If you’ve received an e-mail purportedly from local resident Carol Palladino in which she says she was in Ukraine with members of her family when they were attacked by gunmen and robbed, don’t be alarmed! It’s s scam.
The e-mail in question was received by many people in town on Friday, May 2. In fact, since this kind of scam requires access to Carol’s own digital address book containing all of her friends’ and family’s e-mail addresses it probably went out to all of them.
Carol was, in fact, out of town— the Okanagan — late last week and while she is well known for liking edgy things flying to Ukraine, which is on the edge of civil war would be waaaay too edgy for her.
“I might like to visit Kiev some day but not, I think, any time soon,” she said
Carol knows a lot of people so the message may have momentarily alarmed a few of them but only for a second. I say momentarily because most of the people Carol knows are pretty smart and this note she allegedly penned was obviously written by someone who is not the sharpest tool in the shed. It is riddled with grammatical flaws and spelling errors Carol’s unlikely to make and it reads as though it was penned by someone pretending to be better educated and more sophisticated than he or she actually is.
She thinks the criminals hacked a Yahoo account and gained access to about 100 e-mail addresses. Many of those people called or e-mailed her to tell her they had received the message. None of them believed it and she is sending out her own message to let everyone know she’s fine and to ensure that no one sent any money to these creeps.
“I was contacted by sister in Ontario and friends as far away as Costa Rica,” she told The Current on Sunday afternoon.
“It was touching to be the subject of so much concern. But I’m okay.”
You can make up your own minds about it. Here’s the message as it was received (that phone number at the end is bogus but is close to Carol’s actual number):
Hello,I am sorry for reaching you rather too late due to the situation of things right now.My family and I had a trip visiting Kharkov Ukraine,everything was going on fine until last night when we got attacked by some unknown gunmen. All our money,phones and credit cards was stolen away including some valuable items, It was a terrible experience but the good thing is that they didn’t hurt anyone or made away with our passports.We have reported the incident to the local authorities and the consulate but their response was too casual, we were ask to come back in 2 weeks time for investigations to be made proper,But the truth is we can’t wait till then as we have just got our return flight booked and is leaving in few hours from now but presently having problems sorting out our bills here and also getting a cab down to the airport, Right now we’re financially strapped due to the unexpected robbery attack, Wondering if you can help us with a quick loan to sort out our bills and get back home. All we need is (2,800 $) I promise to refund you in full as soon as I return home hopefully tomorrow or next. write back now to let me know what you can do.Thank You.