HINGHAM — A 79-year-old Hingham woman narrowly avoided a costly scam after she questioned a suspicious email claiming to be from Netflix, police said Tuesday.
According to the Hingham Police Department’s Public Information Officer, Lt. Steven Dearth, the resident received an unsolicited email on Dec. 18 instructing her to pay a $12,000 bill.
Believing the email was legitimate, she followed the provided link and inadvertently allowed the scammer to gain access to her bank account.
The scammer quickly transferred $12,000 from her savings to her checking account and instructed her to withdraw the funds from the bank.
Typically, victims are then told where to send the money, completing the scam.
However, the woman became suspicious while on her way to the bank and decided to contact her financial institution to report the incident.
The bank responded by immediately freezing her accounts, preventing any loss of funds.
Hingham police are using this close call as a cautionary tale for residents, reminding them to never click on unsolicited links or emails.
They advise deleting such messages and never allowing third-party access to personal accounts or computers.
Authorities suggest that if there is any doubt about the legitimacy of an email, individuals should directly contact the company using a verified email address or phone number found on official statements or cards.
Scammers often use email addresses or names that are slightly misspelled to trick victims into believing they are corresponding with a legitimate company.