A virus in many yahoo email accounts has left a few less dollars in the pockets of several good Samaritans.

Last week, several people in Elaine Crane's email address book received a desperate plea for help.

The email begins “I am in tears and could barely think straight at this point.”

The email describes a trip to the United Kingdom for a seminar and involves misplaced luggage and loss of cash and credit cards.

The letter requests financial assistance from the recipient so that Crane can pay her hotel bill and return home.

The letter is followed by Crane's signature business information, just as it appears on all emails she sends.

While there are a few things that should alert the reader, not everyone noticed them and became more concerned about helping a friend.

Crane said she began receiving phone calls from her email contacts alerting her of the email.

“Thanks very much, the ones that called to check on me and were willing to send money,” said Crane. “I'm glad you didn't.”

This scam is among hundreds circulating throughout the country. Most of which originate in foreign land.

Authorities warn not to give out personal information, credit card information or send money to anyone without first verifying the request is legitimate.