By Joe Johnson
An elderly Athens man recently reported to police that he had been scammed out over $700,000 by people he never even met or spoke with.
The scam was solely executed by email.
75-year-old victim said that over the past three years he sent checks to various software companies, believing he would be receiving cyber security programs, but he never did, according to an Athens Clarke County police report.
He said that he was told to make all of the checks out for just under $10,000, the amount that triggers bank transaction reporting requirements.
The victim said the initial email he received came from a company called Technet Global LLC with an address in Oregon.
“The email scam convinced (the victim) that his computer had been hacked (and) he needs to buy their software to remove the threat,” according to the police report.
Subsequent email solicitations came from different companies in various locations across the U.S.
The man initially said he had lost about $300,000 to the scam, but police Lt. Shaun Barnett said that after a detective was assigned to the case and the bank got involved, it was determined “that the amount could be as high as over $700,000,” according to Barnett.