COMPUTER users are being warned to be on their guard against the latest email scam.
Herts Trading Standards has become aware of a con email that claims to be from a friend who is on holiday and has run into trouble.
The message says they have been robbed at gunpoint and lost all their money, possessions and phone.
It will say that they have their passport but need money to pay off their hotel bill and get home.
Councillor Richard Thake, who oversees community safety, said: “Do not respond to the email, it is a scam and the friend’s email account has been hacked.
“The hackers have sent the email and deleted the victim’s emails and contacts. Any emails that are sent to the victim will be read by the hackers.
“Hertfordshire Trading Standards regularly receives reports of scams, from those purporting to be from a bank, offering computer repair services or asking for help in transferring money from a war-torn country, but this one is particularly cruel because it appears to be from someone you know who says that they are in trouble.”
Trading standards officers advise people to make sure that their security systems are up to date and be wary of any unexpected email.
The common themes are poor grammar, use of language or phrases that the alleged sender would not normally use and asking for money, bank details or an urgent response.