My brother's boss in southern California just had his email and Facebook account hacked and the passwords changed. The hacker then proceeded to send messages to his friends asking them to wire money to a bank in London because of an emergency. He made about $1000. Is this an old trick?
It's more than a scam, it's a federal crime and people are getting charged with various crimes regularly... police just don't advertise that they catch this type of crook so that they may keep their methods from being overly exposed.
I've read about cases where minors committed the crime and authorities charged the kids parents even when they knew nothing about it.