PROMINENT Border identity Jodie Tiernan has become the unwitting victim of an email scam aimed at fleecing people of thousands of dollars.
Hackers were able to get access to her email addresses, then use them to send bogus emails asking for people to send $US2600.
The email addresses were then cleared from her devices — her mobile phone, home computer and tablet.
Each email sent out — she had more than 2000 contacts in her address book — was tagged with an old signature from her time as chief executive of Carevan.
They carried the heading: “Robbery Attack!!! (Urgent Help Needed)!!! Jodie Tiernan”.
“I now can’t email everybody back to say ‘look, it’s spam’,” she said yesterday.
“Telstra is actually looking into it for me — I have to pay them to fix it all up.”
After receiving the emails dozens of people contacted Ms Tiernan, who now works in management for the Armada Hospitality Group.
The email purporting to be from Ms Tiernan said she was stranded in Manila, in the Philippines, “in some terrible situation”, after being robbed at gunpoint in a “taxi park”.
“Everything I had on me including my phone, credit cards were all stolen,” it said.
“It was a terrible experience to go through but looking on the bright side, I wasn’t seriously hurt or injured and I’m still alive, which is the most important thing.”
While Ms Tiernan laughed off the email, it still caused her a great deal of inconvenience.
“The only thing that does worry me is that I’ve made a lot of good friendships with Carevan and with older people.
“I just hope they see that it’s not real,” she said.
“Normally (spammers) don’t take your contacts so you’d still be able to send an email out,” she said.
“Because I’ve got 2026 contacts, the Telstra technician’s trying to work out how he can transfer them over to where they have to be.”
Ms Tiernan said about 50 people who received the emails had contacted her by phone, work email and text.
“My contacts from my phone have been swiped as well, so I don’t know who’s phoning me,” she said.
“The scammers have done a really good job of it and I’m just not enjoying it.”