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Sequim shop hit by e-mail scam

If you want to send money to Nicole Livengood and Ruth Cadden of Botanical Touch, they won't mind but they don't need it to get back from London.

The Sequim business that opened in last year at 115 N. Sequim Ave. was the recent victim of a classic e-mail scam.

The e-mail, entitled "Very Urgent Please," appears to come from the company's e-mail address - except it includes a "Reply To" link beneath the subject line that is slight-

ly different.

It states the person - purportedly Livengood -- has traveled to the United Kingdom, lost her wallet on the way to the hotel and now is stranded in London.

Next, the person requests $3,200 to pay the hotel charges and return home. The recipient is told to go to any Western Union office and send the money using information provided, then e-mail details of the transfer as soon as the money is sent.

"I will pay you back as soon as am back I wait to read from you soon," it concludes.

Then the e-mail is signed "Nicole."

"You can send money if you'd like but no, I don't need it and no, I'm not stuck in London," Livengood said Monday.

"We were pretty blessed. We caught it within 10 minutes," she said.

"It would have been worse otherwise."

They contacted the Sequim police, froze all the business' accounts and e-mailed everyone in their address book to set the record straight, Livengood said.

"It was a pain in the butt."

It all started when they received an e-mail threatening to shut down their hotmail account and providing a customer service number to call.

When she called the number, the person told her to e-mail instead to fix the problem, Livengood said.

That provided access to their e-mail account, which allowed the bogus e-mail to be sent out.

Livengood said only their

e-mail account was affected, not their company's hard drive.

She's since heard of other victims of the same scam.



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