E-mail users need to be aware of new scam

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PHOENIX -- Every time you think you've heard of every scam a new one pops up.

The latest scam is actually an old one, but it's been tweaked and changed a little bit. The goal of course is always the same and that is to get your money, or in this particular case, get money from your family and friends.

Like most people, Robert Demarest has an e-mail account -- one he says he uses frequently.

"It's my way to write to my friends and family," he said.

But recently, Demarest says he got an e-mail from Yahoo saying his account had been compromised. As a result, Yahoo needed him to reply immediately with his correct e-mail address and other "personal information" so they could reset his account.

"I thought, well, that it was actually happening, so I went ahead and gave my password." Demarest said.

After replying with all of his Yahoo information, Demarest says something weird happened the next day.

"The next thing I know, the next day I tried to get back in and I couldn't get in," he said. "They changed my password."

Demarest had been locked out of his own Yahoo em-ail account and couldn't get in for days and he says he couldn't believe what happened during that time.

"They contacted all my friends saying I was in London, the UK, and they wanted $2,500," Demarest said.

Just then Demarest realized it wasn't Yahoo at all who wrote him. It was a scammer posing as Yahoo security that tricked Demarest and locked him out of his own account.

In the meantime, the scammer pretended to be Demarest and wrote to everyone in his contact list claiming that he was stuck overseas and needed money.

"I've never been out of Arizona," Demarest said. "I was born in Phoenix, raised in Apache Junction, and never left Arizona."

Demarest started receiving e-mails and phone calls from family and friends asking why he was overseas and what was wrong. As a result, Demarest had to tell everyone he knew that he was being used.

"I tried to e-mail all my friends and contacts and sent a letter to you guys saying please don't sent him any money, it's a scam," he said.

Demarest says he can't believe he fell for it because the initial Yahoo alert looked so real.

He wants others to know if it happened to him it could happen to someone you know.

Yahoo tells us it will never ask for anyone's password or sensitive information in an unsolicited e-mail or phone call.

A statement from Yahoo!'s Security Center can be found at http://help.yahoo.com.