Soon after 9:00 a.m. this morning, Historic City News received an upsetting e-mail, ostensibly from St Augustine Commissioner Bill Leary, with news that he and his family had been mugged at their hotel and left stranded with a $2850 hotel bill that they had no way to pay.
I knew something was wrong because I saw the commissioner in last night’s city commission meeting and the letter said they were on a short vacation in Manila in the Philippines with nothing left but their passport.
I was also suspicious because the e-mail said that Leary was not injured in the attack because he complied immediately. Surely, I thought, Bill Leary would have to ask his assailant a few “last” questions.
No one with an e-mail account is safe from identity fraud and scammers are getting cleverer. I hope that Historic City News readers would be reluctant to respond by sending money overseas, as requested — especially to a politician.