ROCKTON - Scams plague our e-mail inboxes from time to time, but getting a scam e-mail from someone you know doesn't happen as often. However that's exactly what happened to hundreds of supporters of a Stateline youth sports organization. The e-mail appears to have been sent from the president of Illinois Jets Youth Track and Field Club, but he says it's not him.
The e-mail was sent
out to hundreds, plus the Eyewitness News team.
It was sent from the e-mail "firstname.lastname@example.org" and it reads
that our friend DuWayne Jones and his family were mugged in the
A simple response of, 'How can I help?' to the scam artist returned a request and desperate plea for $1,800. But that response was received while interviewing the real DuWayne Jones.
"We are fine, it's not me, it's not my family," said Jones.
Jones is the founder of Illinois Jets Youth Track and Field Club. He received countless e-mails from friends who said they received the e-mail from Jones. Jones claims that the club's e-mail account was hacked and anyone that they've had contact with via e-mail got that e-mail.
"That database has hundreds of e-mail addresses on it - other clubs, organizations involved in track and field," lamented Jones.
Dominic Iasparro, Winnebago County Sheriff's Deputy Chief, says unfortunately groups like Illinois Jets Youth Track and Field can't do much to protect themselves from hackers like these ones.
"Those people that are intent on committing these frauds, this is what they do on a daily basis," said Iasparro.
"They are constantly changing the way they operate and the types of scams that they're committing."
But Iasparro says there are things those who are on the receiving end of the e-mail can do to prevent themselves from getting taken advantage of.
"By and large, the majority of the time if you receive an e-mail or some type of electronic communication asking for money, asking for banking information, asking you to go someplace and meet somebody and deliver something to them - it's a scam," said Iasparro.
Iasparro says anytime someone believes they're the victim of a hack or scam that it's important to contact police because that e-mail could be a missing piece of evidence in an on-going scam investigation. Jones says they've tried contacting everyone affected in their situation, but he says the hacker deleted all of the e-mail addresses attached to the account.