I Was Scammed: A Cautionary Tale From a Fellow TOALC Member
I was scammed recently. There were multiple red flags , some of which I noted and ignored.
I received an e-mail ostensibly from McAfee stating that my free trial had ended, and I was being charged $240 per month for the subscription. There was a “Support and Billing Team” phone number to call.
First red flag: From: (upper left corner) was "McAfee email@example.com.” McAfee would use its own website, not G-mail. I did not realize this until reviewing things afterwards.
I called the number, and they were happy to refund my money. They asked me to download a program ANYDESK. They had all my banking account information. Second red flag. The refund was to go to my checking account. I never use checks for online activity. For some obscure reason, the refund would be in two parts $50 and $180. I entered $50 for the refund and OOPs it came out $5000. $5000 arrived in my account instantly. It was a transfer from another account of mine.
"Holy s**t! I am going to lose my job over this mistake!” I took the bait, hook, line and sinker. This unfortunate person would lose his job over my mistake. It was not my mistake. The program added the two zeros.
Would I transfer $4950 to his wife to the Bank of Jakarta? Huge red flag. I said no. I still had the $5000 deposit to deal with the transfer from another account.). Would I buy gift cards? O.K Seemed like a reasonable alternative.
To the credit of the clerks selling the gift cards, they warned me about being scammed..
I gave them the gift card numbers. Goodbye $$$
Then they asked me to enter $180 for the second part of the refund. After talking with them a little more, I realized that I was being scammed and hung up.