SCAM: How I recognized I was in a scam (part 1)

I received an email from something that looked like PAYPAL notifying that my account was to be charged hundreds of dollars. Never mind that my notification was PAYPAL. Learn to identify the fraud.

I was wary about the email and opened it with the determination not to click on it further. I saw an “authentic” looking email but still I was reluctant to open it. However, there was a phone number displayed and I thought, a phone number shouldn’t be a problem. I called the number.

The Indian or Pakistani accent should have triggered alarms when I was connected. The respondent asked to be connected to my computer to examine the problems. I allowed this. Then he asked me to go to my password manager. Alarm bells should have sounded. I typed in my master password [big time error: if they were logging my keystrokes, they had my master password.]

Next he asked me to access my financial institution. Alarms went off like crazy. I asked him questions about his identity, his phone number, his geographic location, to no avail. I hung up the phone.

Seconds later my phone rang with an unknown caller, the scammer no doubt. I answered. It was the same voice. I hung up. The incoming call was repeated but I did not answer.

This was a scam from the ‘get-go.’ The clues:

  1. I never initiated the call;
  2. The scammer had an accent which was not North American;
  3. The scammer would not identify himself at all.
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