A friend taken for $4,500 via phishing scam a lesson to us all | #emailsecurity | #phishing | #ransomware

“I had no idea that I was a vulnerable person, and I found out that I was very vulnerable,” my friend Kay told me.

Kay is her middle name; she didn’t want to be fully identified. You’ll see why.

In late April, Kay received an email purporting to be from McAfee, the big company that sells anti-virus and other kinds of software. It said the company was charging her bank account $499.99 for something she’d purchased.

She called a phone number she found in the email to let McAfee know she’d made no such purchase. Except, the man who answered wasn’t with McAfee.

“The guy immediately took me to ‘Here’s how we do the refund.’ “ 

And that started her down a costly road.

Kay, 81, is an educated woman. She has an undergraduate degree in psychology and a  masters degree in clinical counseling, both from Ohio State University, and she worked in clinical counseling until she retired a few years ago. 

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Something about the “refund” process felt off to her but the man on the phone was a master manipulator. “He got me under his emotional control,” she said.

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