Email scam leads to Columbia organization losing more than $3,000
COLUMBIA - An unnamed organization reported to the Better Business Bureau that it lost more than $3,000 from a phishing scam.
The scam report said someone hacked an email account belonging to the organization and emailed the group's treasurer asking them to wire $3,850 into an account.
Sean Spence, regional director of the mid-Missouri Better Business Bureau, said this happens more than people think.
"We have a phishing instance happen in mid-Missouri at least every week or two," Spence said.
This kind of scam involves potential victims receiving an email that offers a prize or tries to scare people into thinking they broke the law.
"When people fall for phishing scams, it's because the right message gets them at the right time in just the right way," Spence said.
Spence said scammers often ask for information so they can steal an identity, create a new account and then get money.
The signs of a potential scam are someone asking for a money wire or requesting bank account or Social Security information.
"All of these things should be big red flags," Spence said.
He said people should check out any strange messages they receive. He suggested calling the police, the IRS or the Better Business Bureau to investigate a potential scam.