One of my colleagues had his email account hacked recently. I know this because I received the infamous “I’ve been mugged, send me money” email. This happened to my wife once. Our friend who alerted her also sent along a transcript of a hilarious email exchange in which the spammer tried to impersonate my wife (“how are your sons doing?”; “I’m sorry to hear that the job with the circus didn’t work out”; that sort of thing).
My colleague is probably in a world of hurt right now — I would be if my gmail account was compromised — so I don’t mean to make light of his predicament. But I did think it worth noting that if you are attempting this scam, and the story involves being stuck in London, asking for a money transfer in Euros might be a giveaway.