2 victims of ‘stranded traveler’ scam speak out

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by Michelle Arnold

WHAS11.com

Posted on November 18, 2013 at 6:57 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 18 at 6:58 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- It wasn't the phone call McDaniel Bluitt was expecting.

“On Saturday night I got a very odd phone call from a friend.  She said ‘McDaniel check your email somebody said that you're in the Ukraine, that you've lost your wallet and your credit cards and you need $2,000 to get home,’”  Bluitt said.

The Executive Director of the West Louisville Performing Arts Academy was victim of the ‘stranded traveler’ scam. It's a popular scheme; someone sent a spoofed email to make it appear it came from him. Bluitt’s got five words for anyone who received that email.

“Please don't send them a dime,” Bluitt said.

Statistics from the Internet Crime Complaint Center show that Kentucky men and women 40 and up are much more likely to file a complaint saying they've lost money due to an internet scam-- especially men.  Raoul Cunningham, president of the Louisville chapter of the NAACP had the same inconvenience in May. Unfortunately his friend sent a lot of money, thinking he was helping Cunningham. He says he knows at least 15 people who have also been scammed.

“They illegally obtained money and they fraudulently obtained money,” Cunningham said.

Officials say nine times out of ten-- these types of emails are scams. Before you even think about sending money-- call your family member or friend directly.

If you think you've been scammed you can report it to the FBI by clicking here.

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