Murfreesboro man falls victim to phishing emails

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You may want to pay close attention before clicking an attachment on your email.  

Scammers are phishing and could infect your computer with a virus, only to steal your hard-earned money.  

The holiday season is just around the corner scammers are going on shopping sprees online.  

With the holiday season upon us, scammers are looking to steal your personal banking information to make high dollar purchases. 

But scammers are not coming to your local mall or brick and mortar stores, they are hiding behind a computer.  

A Murfreesboro man, who didn’t want his identity revealed, fell victim.  He was out to dinner and checked his mobile banking app and realized he only had enough money to pay for dinner.   

“I saw a bunch of transactions I didn’t make,” the victim told News 2 by phone.  

More than $2700 in purchases ranging from $400 up to $1200.  

“Purchases of electronics, cameras, computers, things like that,” the victim said.  “Websites that I’ve never been too, I’ve never heard of before.”  

The victim believes a phishing email that someone at his office opened is how his banking information was stolen.    

“I immediately called my bank, I called PayPal, and Amazon to try and get things shut down,” the victim said.  “Their customer service was great, they were saying they were getting a bunch of calls at the moment already that was related to similar things.  Sounded like everyone was getting hit.  I had my ACH routing number attached to my PayPal account so that I could wire things directly without having to pay a credit card fee, and that a was a mistake.”  

His computer was infected with two viruses.  

“The virus that I was hit with is called TrickBot and it works in tandem with another virus called Emotet,” the victim said.  “These are viruses the FBI is aware of and they have hit the United States and other places repeatedly over the few years. Use to be in the past, you know, people would send things that were fishy, and they look fishy, you knew it was something wrong with it.”  

We’ve even seen it at News 2. Phishing emails from someone pretending to be with the IT Department requesting you click to update passwords.    

We’ve also received one allegedly from Human Resources claiming our computers were being used for personal use, trying to get employees to click on a pdf.  

Most likely, a virus that could have affected the company’s network. 

“I don’t know if email is the only way it can spread,” the victim said.  “I believe any computer on a network, so, particularly if you work in an office environment with a lot of people, people in call centers or things like that, you need to be very, very careful.”  

The victim said the purchases look like a legitimate transaction because the scammer used his home address.  

“What they would do is call UPS at the last second while it in transit and tell them they would need to reroute the delivery to a new place,” he said.  

Computerocks network technician John Kemper said he’s seen many customers who fell for similar phishing email scams.  

“A lot of times they don’t even know it’s a virus,” Kemper said.  “It might be disguised as a picture or just a link to take you to a website.  Anytime you click on anything that initiates something on that computer to download or to open a document a picture or document.  That gives that computer permission to execute that file.  Whenever you’re executing it you can be installing a virus or anything like that.”  

The best piece of advice? Be sure you know who’s sending the email and never click on a questionable attachment.   

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