Christina Mader wants friends and family to know she’s OK after someone hacked into her email account and sent messages to her contacts on Monday begging for help — and $2,500 in cash — because she’d been mugged in London, England.
“It’s a friggin’ nightmare,” said Mader.
Mader and husband Bob Gamble, who have not travelled to London, became aware of the situation when they began receiving calls from worried friends on Monday morning.
They even received calls from Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Kevin Krueger and Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod. “That was really nice,” said Mader.
The message, which appears to have been sent from Mader’s Yahoo account, has the subject line: “Awful Ordeal. . . . Christina Mader.”
It states in part: “I've been to the Embassy and the Police here but they're not helping issues at all they asked us to wait for 3weeks but we can't wait till then and our flight leaves in few hours from now but we're having problems settling the hotel bills and the hotel manager won't let us leave until we settle the hotel bills, we are freaked out at the moment ... I really need your financially assistance.”
McLeod said she can’t speak to specific cases but her office helps constituents who get into trouble while out country. And unusual emails require verification, thus the phone call to Mader.
She said the RCMP would be notified when fraud is suspected.
“But there’s very little they can do in these circumstances,” she said.
Mader said she has no idea how it happened. However Yahoo sent Mader a message stating her account was accessed by an unknown device and advised her to check her sent box.
When she did, she noticed all her sent messages had been erased as well as her contact list.
“My privacy’s been violated,” she said.
“It’s not a jokey matter,” said Gamble.
Mader decided not to shut down her email account but has changed her already strong password to a “super strong” one.