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HomePhishingOntario senior loses more than $40,000 in antivirus phishing scam

Ontario senior loses more than $40,000 in antivirus phishing scam

An 87-year-old Ontario senior wishes he never opened an email that looked like it came from Norton Antivirus, as it ended up costing him more than $40,000.

“I feel terrible and so stupid that I fell for it. The fact that they repeatedly told me not to talk to my bank should have sent all kinds of flares up,” said Carman Chisamore.

It was in November when Chisamore got an email which appeared to be from Norton Antivirus Software that looked like a bill for $419.

Chisamore was once a customer of Norton and thought it might be a legitimate email, so he replied to it and also called to say he didn’t need the software and didn’t want to pay for it.

Chisamore was told he would be refunded $419 dollars, but he was then told $41,900 was accidentally deposited into his bank account.

The scammers were able to hack Chisamore’s computer and get into his bank accounts.

“They showed me a screen shot of my bank account that showed almost $42,000 had been entered into my bank account. Then they said ‘gee whiz we made a mistake how do we correct that?’” said Chisamore.

Chisamore was told to go to his branch and do a wire transfer of $41,400. While the teller did ask him questions about why he was sending a wire transfer for such a large amount, Chisamore was told to say he was paying back a loan to an old college friend.

“They said I should say that I was making the wire transfer for the repayment of a debt,” said Chisamore.

When the scammers tried to get another $20,000 days later, he said he knew he had been scammed.

CTV News Toronto contacted Norton Antivirus about the scam emails and Technical Director for Norton Kevin Roundy said “Scams in general are a huge problem. Three billion scam messages were sent out over the past year.”

Roundy added you should always be careful with any suspicious emails or texts that claim you’re about to be charged for its antivirus software.

“The typical thing is that they say hundreds of dollars is about to be charged to your account because your subscription is about to renew,” said Roundy.

Chisamore’s daughter Sherry believes the bank should have done more to prevent the fraud and save her father from losing his money.

“He is 87 years old. He went to his bank and they let this happen. I felt so horrible for my parents,” said Sherry.

CTV News Toronto reached out to CIBC and Josh Burleton with CIBC’s Public Affairs said in a statement, “We work hard to protect our clients, including seniors, from fraud. We have processes and controls in place to help prevent unauthorized transactions and our team is trained to ask questions when transactions do not fit a client’s usual banking pattern. If, despite these controls, a client authorizes the transaction, it would be processed.”

“This is a very unfortunate situation which highlights the importance of being suspicious of emails and calls with unknown parties and being forthcoming when speaking with the bank about the purpose of a payment or transfer and before authorizing a transaction. Clients have a role to play in recognizing fraud and protecting themselves against it. Tools and more information about how to spot and stay safe from these types of scams and other frauds is available on our website.”

The Chisamore family is concerned that the $41,400 appears to be gone for good and wanted to share their story to warn others.

Be careful you don’t open any suspicious texts or emails and if you get one and you’re not sure if it’s legitimate contact the company directly by going to their official website and not responding to what was sent to you.


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