resident was defrauded of $4,400 after he fell victim to a phishing scam, in
the form of an apparent e-mail from his boss, Chesterton Police said.
police, on Thursday the victim’s wife reported that, on July 18, he received
an e-mail purportedly from his supervisor, sent to his company e-mail
account, in which his “boss” asked him to purchase 40 $100 Apple iTunes
cards, to be used for gifts and incentives “for students or new hires.”
The victim’s wife
advised police that, while normally her husband would have been more
vigilant--and would likely have been suspicious because his company has
training facilities not in Indiana but in Seattle and Los Angeles--he’s been
preoccupied by his mother’s failing health.
So, acting on her
husband’s instructions, she purchased the cards, at $100 each, at the
Walgreen’s, Jewel/Osco, and CVS in Chesterton and made additional purchases
at Meijer in Michigan City. “In total, 44 gift cards were purchased and
activated using directions from the e-mail,” police said.
Some days later,
during a conversation with his boss, the victim had occasion to mention the
iTunes card purchases, and his supervisor “had no idea what he was talking
about and denied authoring the e-mail,” police said.
The company has
launched its own internal investigation and American Express--the charge
card used in the purchases--has frozen the transactions until it could
complete an investigation of its own. But, police said, “There was no
guarantee AMEX would cover the purchase.”