Letters: Hacked!

I have a love/hate relationship with my computer.  When it cooperates we can get work done quickly and efficiently.  But when it is slow and cantankerous, it matches my age and condition therefore our relationship is strained.

A couple of Monday’s ago, I receive an email message saying, “Your incoming and outgoing emails have been placed on hold, please contact AOL.”  As I clicked on the link, my intuition kicked in, but I ignored it and entered my address and password.  As soon as I pushed “send,” I realized the address had @OL instead of AOL. Too late. So my saga began…

On Tuesday, my friends began calling and e-mailing me around 9 a.m. informing me that my email had been hacked.  The message asked them to buy I Tune cards for my niece’s birthday, since I was out of town.  I tried to access my contacts.  GONE! They had been replaced with new contacts.  There was no way to warn my friends of the impending disaster.  The scammers asked them to buy 5 I Tune gift cards in denominations of $100 each, scratch off to reveal the pin numbers, take pictures of the pin numbers and send them the picture/s.  In some cases they asked them to phone them for additional directions.

Friends began calling to warn me or to ask if I really needed help.  I notified the police.  Some friends even called to ask where to send the money!  Other friends sent the scammers expletives and still others actually went to the police.

Thank you for caring. But most of all, thank you for understanding that we all are vulnerable to being hacked or scammed. Be aware of “phishing” and avoid entering your address and password unless you initiate the email.

Shirley Greene

Ridgeway

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