How I got Cyber-scammed

I arrived at my place of employment a few years ago, sat at my desk, and reviewed how to get all my work done on that hectic day. I decided to work my way through my emails before my official start time began while it was still quiet.

I was tired from a night of poor sleep, anxious about my day ahead. I rushed to complete my emails. I let my guard down. 

I opened an email that indicated the IT department needed me to click on a document. Then I was to log in to ensure the overnight updates were all active, followed by a reply to the email when I got a display of a successful upgrade. I followed through right away so I could quickly get on to my next email. After dutifully logging in, I clicked send.

I gasped in horror as I realized that I had just been scammed. Now I’m pretty versed in different scamming schemes. I’m computer literate. I was humbled by how easily I had been fooled. No excuses. I had to admit being scammed and how easily it had happened.

I swallowed my pride, called IT to inform them and forwarded the email to them after I immediately changed my password. I was lucky. No further harm was noted as a result of my lapse in attention. I then told all the staff about what happened.

So older adults and seniors, regardless of your computer knowledge, are susceptible to being scammed. You are a preferred target for 2 main reasons. First, you may not be as computer literate as millennials. But more importantly, we are inclined not to tell anyone if we have been scammed. That decision never ends well.

Don’t keep it a secret if you’ve been scammed. Tell people you trust. Given them a chance to be educated through your experience. Talk about any other options you could take to stop being scammed. This is especially true if you have sent money as part of a scam. The scammers won’t go away until you have no money left or stop communicating with them and stop sending money.

One thing you can do is to educate yourself as well as your friends and loved ones. The Anti-Fraud Centre in Canada is an excellent place to start. Start today. It could save you a lot of money and a lot of embarrassment.

Please, take a moment to email me your thoughts.

My thanks to St. Albert Seniors Association: 780-459-0433 for making this blog possible.

Glenn Walmsley