Susan, who lives in Iowa, received an e-mail that seemed authentic, even after she did some checking. Unfortunately, it was part of an increasingly common scam found everywhere, including the Parkland.
The e-mail supposedly came from Yahoo telling her to update her account. There was a website she was supposed to click on to do the update.
“My first thought was that I shouldn’t click on it,” Susan said. “I went to snopes.com and couldn’t find anything on it there. So, I thought it must be OK.”
She clicked on the link to the website and the computer screen went blank.
“As soon as it happened, I thought, ‘Oh no, I hope that wasn’t something bad,’” Susan related. “But I thought my virus protection would take care of it.”
The next morning, Susan began getting phone calls from people saying she had been hacked. They were getting e-mails supposedly from Susan saying she and her family had gone to Madrid, Spain. According to the message, they were robbed at gunpoint. All their money was taken but they were okay. They needed 1800 euros to get home.
“It was written with bad grammar and spelling,” she said. “Anyone who knew anything about me would know that is not how I write. I was surprised at how many people believed it and wrote back and said they couldn’t help me.”
When Susan tried to get into her e-mail to change her password, she could not access her account. She learned that her primary account had been changed to an almost identical e-mail account that had one extra letter. Her initial primary account had been moved to her secondary account, which had been eliminated. There was a new password on the initial primary account.
Susan called Yahoo, and her e-mail account eventually was reset. Susan’s contacts had been wiped out, so she couldn’t send a warning to the people on the list.
“When I got back into my e-mail account and checked the login activity, I found someone from Nigeria had been using the account,” she said. “I put a message on my Facebook account saying I am not in Madrid, I am okay, please don’t send any money.”
Readers, have you had the same thing happen to you? Please share your story in the comments section of this story.
The Daily Journal has made a commitment to keep readers abreast of scams that hit our area. If someone tries to make you the victim of a scam, submit details at https://www.dailyjournalonline.com/connect (click on the Scam logo) or call us at 431-2010 and tell us what happened.
We will try to include your story in our scam alert series to prepare others who may find themselves in the same situation. The Daily Journal will run Scam Alert stories in the Weekend paper.