Local cement company's customers, friends targeted by email hoax

Local cement company's customers, friends targeted by email hoax

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by TONY BURBECK / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on January 21, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 21 at 7:21 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A local concrete company is trying to keep friends, employees and customers from being duped by an email scam which claims the company owner is the victim of a crime overseas and needs thousands of dollars to get his family home. 

 
The email has Tommy Brown’s name on it, as well as his ex-wife and office manager Carmel Brown’s name on it. 
 
It has the company name, B&B Concrete, as well as their contact information. 
 
The problem is the email is a scam and these words aren't his. 
 
"Hope you get this message on time.  This message is coming to you with great depression due to my state of discomfort.  Traveled a short trip with my family to Athens, Greece but unfortunately we got mugged and robbed at gun point on our way to the hotel where we stayed.  All cash, credit cards and few other valuables were taken away,” the email says. 
 
Tommy Brown has never been to Greece and certainly isn't there now. 
 
"I never go out of the country, never fly, never get on a boat,” Brown said.
 
The request for cash isn't his.
 
"I am contacting you to ask for a short loan of 1,500 Euro (About $1,950 USD) to settle our bills which I will refund immediately I get my family back home safely.  Please let me know if you can help,” the email reads. 
 
The problem Monday is several of Brown’s friends, co-workers and business contacts thought the email was real and offered help. 
 
"The phone's been ringing this morning ever since it went out,” Brown said.
 
"I've had six or seven calls today from people asking ‘is Tommy OK?’ I say he's fine, but we've been hacked,” said Carmel Brown. 
 
Instead of drumming up new business for concrete crews working in the field, the Browns are in react mode, telling email recipients do not send money. 
 
"I'd hate for somebody to send money and think I was really in on a scam with them,” he said. 
 
They are also in repair mode trying to recover stolen information. 
 
"I've lost everything I had for our big jobs, all my paperwork is gone,” Carmel Brown said. 
 
The Browns say fortunately no one fell for it.
 
They told folks who called the email was not real and say they are glad people called to check instead of relying upon words in the email, which could have cost them thousands of dollars. 
 
The email asks people to wire money via Western Union to Athens and provide transfer information. 
 

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