Over a two-week period, just after Thanksgiving 2017, Judy got caught in an elaborated scam that cost her close to $200,000 Judy’s nightmare began with a phone call from someone claiming to be from computer tech support and that he needed to get into her computer to fix something.
According to Judy, the cybercriminal who took control of her computer directed her attention to what looked like a readout from one of her accounts at US Bank.
She freaked out when it appeared that the account of $29,819 had been drained out. Judy was led to believe that if she gave the caller more money, she would get all of it back.
The criminal ordered her to buy gift cards from Walmart and Target, and to turn the value of the cards ($165,970) over to him. He also talked her into two bank transfers, including $45,000 to a company in Nepal When she tried to push back, she said the guy started threatening her family.
It could have been worse, but fortunately for her, one of her credit card companies reversed nearly $25,000, as it was considered a fraud. Judy lost something close to $196,000. All this was paid with her savings, retirement money, and running up credit cards.
Senior citizens have always remained the main target of cybercriminals and bad actors due to their inexperience with technology. Digital literacy training can give them the skills and confidence to access information and services online.