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‘Frightening’: Minister speaks out after hackers send Welsh language scam messages from his email

10 Jan 2022 3 minute read
Aled Lewis Evans

A minister has spoken out after hackers sent Welsh language scam messages from his email address.

Aled Lewis Evans, from Wrexham, who is also a poet and author, described the scammers sending his contacts fraudulent requests for money in his mother tongue as a “frightening development”.

In the message, someone posing as Aled, asks for the money to be transferred to a gift card in order to help a friend who has liver cancer.

The Welsh language messages that contain a number of grammatical errors, have the appearance of having been translated using Google Translate.

Aled has sent a message to his contacts warning them that his account has been hacked and that the emails asking for money are a scam.

Aled told Nation.Cymru: “The hacking was completely unexpected. I received an email from Yahoo saying that the ‘Post Box’ had come to an end and that I needed give my email in the response. I thought this could be authentic and it had a Yahoo logo on it.

“I don’t know if this was a scam too. But a technician from Yahoo helped me re-establish my account with a new password on the phone in a very careful manner.

“I have tried to to answer individual messages and some posts on my personal Facebook and some of the chapels in my care. Also on my personal Twitter account.

“The frightening development was the fake message from the hacker was in Welsh but it was possible it was put through Google Translate.

“A number of people noticed that it did not match my usual style thank goodness. But it was a very unpleasant experience which took most of the day to respond to, but also undermined the authenticity of the technical messages I receive every now and again. I regard myself as quite careful with things like this, but I will be even more careful from now on.”

‘Please ignore’ 

In a post on social media, he said: “Please ignore any e mail asking for money – my e mail has been hacked. Sorry about this. Aled.”

One message from a scammer to one of Aled’s contacts said: “I’m sorry to trouble you with this post, I need you to get a Google play gift card for a friend who has liver cancer, it’s her birthday today and I promised to get it for her, but I can’t do this now because I am out of town at the moment and my attempt to buy it online is unreasonable.

“Can you get it from any nearby shop for me? I will pay you back after arriving. Let me know and you can deal with this so I can tell you the sum and how to get it to me.”

The original Welsh message said: “Mae’n ddrwg gen i am eich trafferthu gyda’r post hwn, mae arnaf angen i chi gael cerdyn rhodd chwarae Google ar gyfer ffrind sydd â chanser yr afu, mae’n ben-blwydd arni heddiw ac addewais ei gael ar ei chyfer, ond ni allaf gwnewch hyn nawr oherwydd fy mod i allan o’r dref ar hyn o bryd ac roedd fy holl ymdrech i’w brynu ar-lein yn afresymol.

“A allwch ei gael o unrhyw siop o’ch cwmpas i mi? Byddaf yn ad-dalu ichi ar ôl cyrraedd. Rhowch wybod i mi a allwch drin hyn fel y gallaf ddweud wrthych y swm a sut i’w cael ataf.”

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Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
2 years ago

Close down the Yahoo e-mail account. Yahoo has been notorious for being hacked for years, and no one who is serious about security should be using Yahoo. Even Gmail is better, but better still is a paid for service such as ProtonMail. There’s a free service that offers 500MB of storage and you can send up to 150 messages a day. It’s very secure.

Dafydd Lewis
2 years ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

Also make sure you switch on two factor authentication on all your accounts and never re-use passwords. 👍

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