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Law Prof Isn’t Stranded in Scotland and in Need of Cash, Despite E-Mail to Contrary

Posted Sep 28, 2010 5:30 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A senior lecturing fellow at Duke University School of Law who conducts happiness research is trying to remain positive after a hacker used his e-mail in an apparent scam.

Lawyer and positive psychology expert Dan Bowling says he’s been hacked. “No, I’m not in Scotland, and no, I don’t need a loan,” he tells the ABA Journal, which received the scam e-mail Monday morning.

“I know this might be a surprise to you," the e-mail begins, "but am sorry I didn't inform you about my travel for a Seminar in Scotland. The people here are very nice and the Seminar went well. In the meantime, will you be able to assist me with a loan of £2000 British pounds which is about $3300 to sort-out my hotel bills and get myself back home as I've misplaced my wallet on my way to the hotel, my money and other valuables are gone including my credit cards.”

Bowling is warning of the scam in social media and internal Duke communications. He's also contacting the authorities. His voice mail informs callers the e-mail isn’t legit, although those who are so inclined are always welcome to send money. He first learned of the scam Monday morning when his Google account e-mailed his Duke account.

“I’m just trying to stay positive,” he tells the ABA Journal. After all, “I’m supposed to be this person who knows how to handle situations like this.”

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