A retired nurse reportedly lost $43,000 from her life savings after being targeted by phishing scammers.
According to a report by The New York Post, the retired nurse had the computer at her part-time job hacked via a common phishing scheme.
The scammers were able to install malware on the woman’s computer through a fake advertisement, thereby locking her out of the desktop. The malware also displayed a warning saying her finances were at risk of being hacked if she did not move her money to a safer location.
The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said she was given a number to contact in order to recover her finances. The scammers then tricked her into sending $13,700 of her savings via wire transfer to a bank in East Asia. She also put $29,430 in cash into a Bitcoin ATM, which deposited the money to the wallet address he had been given.
In all, the woman reports losing over $43,000 from her life savings, and was fired from her part-time job after her employers blamed her for the work computer being hacked.
Kathy Stokes, director of fraud prevention for the American Association for Retired Persons (AARP), condemned the targeting of elderly via phishing scams.
She told local Buffalo news outlet WKBW,
This is organized crime. She is up against a sophisticated criminal operation. They got the money, the time, the playbook, they have employees, and it’s us against them.
Todd Maher, president of the financial crimes consultancy BitSource AML Solutions, reiterated that victims of phishing attacks should never transfer their money or crypto to a third party, saying it was legitimate “zero percent of the time.”
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