‘I fell for it’: A Spokane woman was almost scammed out of $60,000. Her message so you don’t fall victim

SPOKANE, Wash. — Millions of people are checking their emails to track packages this holiday season and scammers are hard at work trying to trick you online.

It’s a growing issue that nearly cost one local woman $60,000. 

The people at Friendly Computers help those who have been victims of online scams, like Karen Williams. 

“I just had this gut feeling that something was wrong,” Williams said. 

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She thought she was calling the anti-virus company McAfee, but the people on the other line said her computer’s anti-viral software had expired, so they automatically renewed it. 

They said that if she wanted a refund, she needed to give them control of her computer to make a transfer. 

Williams did what they asked and that is when the problems piled on. 

While on the phone, she ended up logging into her bank account and saw the scam she had fallen into. 

“I logged into my bank account from my phone and saw they had transferred a total of $60,000 from five of my business accounts,” Williams said. “It’s an injustice that I wish there was more that we could do to stop. 

Thankfully, she was able to stop the transactions through her bank before it was too late. 

Close calls like this are happening more than ever as more people spend time online. 

Tech experts said people need to check the links they receive, verify email addresses and try not to react even when pressured by a hacker. Investing in security software goes a long way. 

“You need to make sure you have a good, paid antivirus that actually will try to catch these things before it happens,” said Glenn Black, General Manager at Friendly Computers.  

“You hear about these scams all the time, and you go ‘Oh, it’s not going to happen to me.’ Then when it does, it’s like ‘Oh wow, they are good,’” Williams said. 

READ: Donating this Giving Tuesday? Here are tips to avoid online scams