Michael’s advice to others
Everyone thinks it’s something that happens to others until it’s too late. If you don’t take action to protect yourself even though it’s never happened to you, then all you can do is pick up the pieces after you become the victim.
Age 48, USA, specialist
A couple of years ago, I made a purchase online. It was a company I trusted and an https secured website, so I felt completely safe entering my credit card number to complete my purchase. I bought my item, got a confirmation email and then got my item. Everything had happened just as expected.
However, I was awakened in the middle of the night by my phone beeping a couple of weeks later. I had two-factor authentication on my email address, and it was asking me to confirm my login attempts. I was obviously sleeping and hadn’t attempted to log in. Someone was entering my correct email password and triggering the two-factor authentication.
I rush to my computer and check my credit card account. There were unauthorized charges there as well. I had to contact the credit card company and get them to shut off my credit card. This left me without any money until my paycheck came. I was forced to borrow money from my family.
I ran a virus scan and got hits. I felt sick. I had just given criminals my credit card number, my passwords, my bank account info… probably every piece of information about me.