HILLIARD, Ohio (WCMH) — It was a typical day for Mary Beth Einerson. She finished work and returned to her Hilliard home when her husband told her he received an email from McAfee.
“So, McAfee said that they had billed us for software protection, and he was pretty sure he hadn’t authorized that,” Einerson said. “So, we didn’t pay much attention to it.”
About a month later, Einerson said there was another, similar email, that appeared to come from PayPal. Nearly $300 had been debited from her account. Einerson’s husband said he would take care of it.
“There was a phone number, so he called to try to get this straightened out,” Einerson said. “The guy was very gracious, you know, ‘We will reimburse you, take care of all of that,’ but to do that, they wanted to take control of the computer.”
Einerson’s husband allowed it, giving the man on the other side of the phone access to their device and account.
“So, he put in the $300 that was supposed to be reimbursed. All of a sudden, it was $30,000,” Einerson said.
The man insisted it was a mistake, and to correct it, Einerson’s husband would need to send a check.
“And he told him not to tell me about it,” Einerson said. “Well, of course, he told me about it. So, we’re sitting there and we’re thinking, and… this is just not right. There’s something just not right about this.”
Einerson called her bank, explained the situation, and learned it was a scam.
“It’s kind of embarrassing to feel like you can get scammed like that, but they’re there,” Einerson said. “They’re really good at what they do.”
But as a loyal Better Call 4 viewer, Einerson said she was able to act quickly and put a stop on any payments because she knew how to spot the red flags, starting with the email.
“Look at who emails are coming from,” Einerson said. “That was the first thing, that, if we had recognized that, we would have just ignored the whole thing.”
Einerson also said her husband’s willingness to talk was key. If you ever find yourself in a situation like this, talk to someone you trust. If you ever have questions or concerns about any of your accounts, always go directly to the source. Never click on a link or dial a phone number that’s sent to you.