WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wi. (WAOW)–An area woman had approximately $500 stolen through a phishing scam.
In early July, a Wisconsin Rapids woman, who has asked to be unidentified, encountered a scammer through her email. Without ever meeting, the scammer secured hundreds of dollars from her banking account and her and her husband’s Amazon accounts.
In 2020 the Federal Bureau of Investigations Internet Crime Complaint Centre named phishing schemes one of the most common online attacks. Scammers will typically send hundreds of thousands of emails that seem urgent.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) said they see hundreds of phishing reports every day.
The Wisconsin Rapids woman received an email asking her to renew her McAfee anti-virus software for $499. She says she decided the price was too high and wanted to cancel the software, and she continued to call the number listed in the email. The cybercriminals eventually used her to steal her money.
She says did realize what was going on once the scammers told her to go to her area Best Buy, Walmart or Target to pick up several $500 gift cards totaling $2,000.
“I knew that was a scam, but they had already got into my bank account, and how they did that, I don’t know,” the woman said.
She is not alone in this type of scheme. Since April of 2022, over one thousand people have reported this crime to the BBB, and 18 people across the country have encountered a phishing scam disguised as a McAfee email.
“I want everyone to watch (out), ” the Wisconsin Rapids woman said. “I just don’t want anyone else to get into this kind of a mess.”
In the time since the attack, the woman is still working to clear up the issue and now says she is having trouble receiving her social security and pension payments.