The FBI is now warning people about a scam that tries to dupe people out of money when they think they are helping a friend.
This scam starts when a hacker gets control of an email account and starts writing people in the address book. They send emails, saying they are stranded in London, or another overseas location, and that they need money right away. The hacker, posing as the person whose email account they are using, claims to have been robbed of their money, passport and cell phone.
The email uses a sense of urgency to entice the victim to not validate the claim but just wire the money.