WAUPUN — Keith Navis’ nightmare started early yesterday morning when his attorney called him.
“He had just received an email from me saying I was in the Philippines with my family, was mugged, robbed, and needed money to get home,” said Navis, general manager of Rock River Country Club. “I had no idea.”
It was a fraud. Someone had gotten into Navis’ computer and stole more than 600 names and addresses.
“I have no more contacts,” said Navis. “They are all gone.”
Then the calls started coming in from friends, relatives and people on the contact list, all telling about the same email they just received, saying he was in the Philippines and needed money to get home.
“I got on Facebook right away and let people know it wasn’t true, and I put the information on our website, but I still lost all my contacts, from customers, to committees and clubs,” he said.
Navis said he called AT&T.
“They said sometimes they can get the addresses back if less than two hours had passed, but they couldn’t get mine back even though it had been less than an hour.
“Even emails to me have been forwarded to a Hotmail site, and I haven’t received them,” he said.
Navis said only addresses were taken, and that nothing personal that would compromise a customer was taken.
“Even my personal information is OK,” he said.
Navis said he talked to Waupun Police Chief Dale Heeringa.
“He said the people were probably out of the country, and it’s impossible to track anyone out of the country.”
Dylan Weber with Fox Computer and Networking said what happened is a common scam. About protecting information, Weber said a person can do all the right things and still get a virus.
“There is no anti-virus package that is 100 percent safe. You need a virus to find the fix. With good companies, a virus will be out only an hour, and they’ll have a protection for it. But still, it would be out there for an hour,” he said. “You can do all the right things and still get a virus.”
For protection, Weber advised talking to a professional about anti-virus measures and emphasized using complex passwords.
“Don’t use any word that’s in the dictionary,” he said.
“The best advice I can give, is when you log onto a site, and it asks, ‘do you want to save your password?’ always say no.”