Terry Dean, our education reporter, got a disturbing e-mail over the weekend from a former District 97 teacher he previously covered, stating that she was mugged at gunpoint during a trip to the United Kingdom and thieves got away with her money. The teacher was requesting “a quick loan” to pay her hotel bills, promising to pay back the money once she returned home.

Sensing that this was another “trapped overseas: need money” scam, Dean called the retired teacher who still lives in Oak Park and still occasionally works with students. Turned out, not surprisingly, she had not been robbed and was doing fine (ironically, she had just returned from a trip with her family). She confirmed the e-mail was indeed a scam.

Somehow, scam artists are duplicating e-mail addresses and sending out phony messages desperately asking for money to get back to the United States. We know of other Oak Parkers whose e-mails have been broached.

So if a former Oak Park teacher, village trustee, or Wednesday Journal staffer sends an e-mail asking for money to rescue them from a foreign country, hold onto your cash. Call the person first so you both can have a laugh. Then delete the e-mail.

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