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Internet scam involves Albany businessman

Photo by Special photo

Photo by Special photo

ALBANY, Ga. -- He was mugged in England. The thief got his cash, credit cards and cell phone. All he needed was $1,750 to get home. Could a friend send it?

It was all a lie and part of an international email scam that targeted Albany businessman Harold Kosola's friends with his stolen AOL email account.

Kosola wasn't in England. His friends didn't fall for the scam, but he wants to warn others.

"I want other people to know about this so they won't lose money," Kosola said. "Someone got into my email account and stole my identity, then contacted all my friends from my email list to send a message that I was in London needing money to get home."

Kosola has friends around the world including residents of England, Finland and Canada. He is a world traveler through his business, Kosola and Associates Inc. an aeronautical repair business specializing in engine mounts.

When the scam email arrived on their computers stating, "I'm writing this with tears in my eyes" they called him or emailed him alerting him that someone was using his email to solicit money.

The address the scammer wanted the cash wired to was 405 Cranbrook Road, London, United Kingdom. Kosola called the London Metropolitan Police.

The London police played pass the buck and suggested Kosola call local authorities. Considering it is an international scam, it was doubtful any real action could be taken locally.

A computer search discovered the Internet Crime Complaint Center at the website .ic3.gov. It records scams and warns about them. And don't forget the delete button on suspicious emails.