"I was robbed in London, give me all your money!"

A quick warning, there is an active gang of online scam artists operating in London who target not tourists but their friends and relatives back in the US. The scam artists are hacking people's email and social networking accounts via fake log-in phishing pages, then sending out messages claiming to have been violently robbed in London and asking for money to be sent by wire transfer. If you get any such message be extremely suspicious: try to get in touch with the person by telephone if you can, and if not try to get them to confirm something personal that couldn't be found out by hacking their email.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
12670 posts

Nothing new. That scam has been floating around US for a number of years. Don't know if it is specifically related to London or not.

Posted by Michael Schneider
New Paltz, NY
7431 posts

There's also a low-tech version of this scam. Someone approaches you on the street to sign a petition. The petition asks for your address and/or phone number/email address, later in the day your relatives get a call that you're in trouble.

On a related note, when I was in London a few weeks ago the police had large digital signs in the Picadilly Circus/Leister Square/Covent Garden areas warning tourists of some sort of "Hug & Mug" type robbery, and to "be potect your personal space". That's the only thing the sign said.

Posted by Frank II
4630 posts

Hug and Mug works like this....someone approaches you appearing to be drunk. He gets close enough to hug you. Some try to get you to dance. While you're distracted trying to get him off of you,or going along, he picks your pocket and hands your wallet/money to his accomplice a few feet away, or he accomplice actually picks your pocket.

London is known for this one and it's lately been reported in Barcelona as well. However, in Barcelona, they've been working in groups of threes and one of the accomplices carries a knife to cut open your pockets or bag.

Both mostly occur late at night when you'd expect to see someone drunk.

Here's a video on one take of the "hug and mug:"

Dancing pickpocket

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
8720 posts

I don't give out my address or phone number even at home,, I only give out my work number if I must.. and I give my moms old address ( where I grew up,, but mom sold it 10 years ago). Only if required( like when stores need it for chilrens clothing tax exemption).

I protect my personal information at home,, so I would think most people would be smart enough to do that in a foriegn country.

The "hug and mug ",, haven't heard that one, ,but it does make sense to watch your perosnal space. I always say in Paris,, a pocket can't be picked if they can't reach it... Perosnally if someone went to grab at me( to hug) I would shove them off and step back pretty darn fast,, I don't let drunks get near me anytime.. even if they are just drunks.. LOL