A desperate email from Anne Peterson, Executive Director of the Concern for Neighbors Food Bank in Mountlake Terrace, read “I am writing to you with tears, My family and I came over to Philippines for holiday, Unfortunately we got mugged by unknown gunmen, All our money, credit card and phones were stolen from us.” (sic)
The only problem with the email, besides the grammatical errors, was that it wasn’t from Peterson.
“We’ve been hacked,” was her explanation Tuesday morning.
A number of people in the Mountlake Terrace area received the suspicious correspondence, including some fellow food bank workers. “One of our volunteers got the email and was showing it to me,” Peterson said.
The suspicious email continued: “We have been to the consulate but they are not willing to help, Our return flight leave soon but we are having financial problems sorting our hotel bills and the hotel manager won’t let us leave until we sort the bills.”
Then the email gets to the crux: “We need your urgent help with a loan of $2,850 or whatever amount you can spare right now, I promise to refund you back the money. Please let me know what you can do so that i can let you know how to sent the money.”
The email is signed, “Kind Regards, Anne Peterson” and comes from the email@example.com e-mail address.
While she doesn’t know who is behind the e-mail, or how the individual or group got access to the e-mail account of the food bank, Peterson hopes to have it all cleared up soon. Until then she is a little nervous about using electronic communication; “I’m afraid to get on our email and send any out,” she said.
“We are working on the situation,” she added.
Despite the suspicious email, Peterson and the rest of the Concern for Neighbors Food Bank crew were on hand Tuesday distributing food to needy individuals and families at their Mountlake Terrace location.