I’d exchanged e-mails with former WaPo reporter and now HuffPost Senior Contributing Editor Jose Antonio Vargas in the past. But much to my surprise (and concern), this morning I received two consecutive e-mails from him sent just before 5 a.m.
He sounded frantic. He was in Barcelona for a seminar and in desperate need of money after misplacing his wallet. The e-mail was correct and not sent from a phony address. But it sure didn’t sound like him at all.
Please i want it confidential between the two of us. I actually got my wallet misplaced on my way to the hotel I lodged. My money and other valuable things were kept in the wallet. I would have called you but I’m not mobile right now and I have limited access to the internet. For the main time, you can reach me via my email. Let me confess to you now that I have no money on me because I have blocked my account immediately the incident happened since I lost my cards with the wallet. Please I will like you to assist me with a loan of 3000euros or any amount you could afford to sort-out my hotel bills and to sustain my living till I’m back home.
One of my favorite lines: “I have been to the embassy and they are taking necessary measures but I really need some fund here to sort out some important ideas.”
He went on…
I can only receive money here with my passport via the western union money transfer service. The western union money transfer service is availabe [sic] in any bank. Below are my details you will need to make the transfer on my name. After the transfer, just email me the money transfer control number [MTCN]. I will greatly appreciate your kindness and fast response. Thanks for your love and kindness. Looking forward to read from you [sic].
Indeed it was all a ploy. Vargas informed me earlier today that someone had “hijacked” his e-mail and sent out the note begging for money.
We’re glad to hear the journo is okay and not stranded in Barcelona without cash.