Be careful where you click!
We live in an age where more and more people are victims of scams. These happen online, by phone, and in person - don't let this happen to you!
Recently, I was on the CNN Website and was intrigued by a quiz that challenged people about their knowledge of classic cars from the 1950s. (I now believe the quiz was deliberately designed to entice old geezers such as myself!) When I clicked on the first question, my computer immediately began beeping loudly and flashing a sign instructing me to contact Apple Care for assistance.
I called the number flashing on my screen directing me to Apple Care. The person who answered assured me that he was with Apple Care. He gave me an Apple Care Case number as well as his name and number. He then went through my computer. He informed me that I had been compromised by someone out of Singapore and or Hong Kong. He kept asking me if I had any contacts there. I answered emphatically that there were none. The tech was very nice and spent a lot of time with me allegedly searching my computer and checking for malware. As time went on I began to trust him more and more.
The following morning I received a call that my bank accounts were being compromised and that a sting was being set up with the FBI to catch the perpetrators in Hong Kong and Singapore. The same individual said that a $56,000.00 withdrawal had been made to a child pornography site. This was getting crazier and crazier. As my fear mounted, so did my need to believe that the person on the phone was trustworthy. I was told to contact the fraud division of my bank. I was provided with the number of a woman at my bank who gave me information to do the sting for the FBI.
I was instructed to go to a branch of my bank and withdraw $16,000 to wire to an account in Hong Kong as part of the FBI sting. She provided me with detailed information including banking and routing numbers. Upon arriving at the bank, I realized that this made no sense. The bank branch manager immediately looked into the matter. The phone number in the other state was one where my bank does no business. It then became clear that this was an elaborate fraud where people are being victimized every day. There is now a fraud claim being investigated by my bank. No money has been transferred. Both people in the scam kept calling me and texting as well. These were ignored. My online banking access has been deliberately shut down to prevent any unlawful activity.
The next day I had tech support install malware and other programs to completely scrub, and protect my computer. We must be extremely careful in this age of technology and massive fraud.
1. Do not go to any pop up sites.
2. If you receive a sudden flashing light and loud noises shut down your computer. Do not call the number that flashes. It is clearly a scam.
3. Do not do any banking with unfamiliar addresses.
4. Be careful with any activities online. Accounts such as Venmo, Pay pal and others can be hacked.
5. Your credit cards, and identity are always in danger.
6. Never give banking information, social security numbers or other identification to someone on line who you don’t know.
7. Do not answer your phone if the number is unfamiliar. Let the caller leave a voice mail.
Everyone has a story about fraud or an attempted scam. Please share yours with us at gracefullygreying.com.
Henry Gornbein, Co-Founder of Gracefully Greying