It sounded like a generous offer after a struggling local business was foreclosed – but that text ended up costing a salon owner and their clients $ 8,000.
A Queensland woman was devastated after hackers hijacked her computer earlier this month.
It’s everyone’s worst nightmare, but especially for Brooke Cleall, owner of the Brisbane business, who runs the Zazu hair salon.
Not only did she lose her own money, but also her clients’ money.
In total, she and her clients lost $ 8,000 in a matter of days.
Hackers also taunted her in swearing-in messages, claiming they had complete control and would ruin her business.
On September 30, Ms. Cleall posted a warning on the company’s Facebook page that read, “If you received this message it is not from us, please do not respond and do not open any links.
A few days earlier, she had received strange text messages from GetTimely, a booking site that she uses to manage the salon.
The notifications indicated that his password had changed. The next day, when she opened her emails, there was one waiting for her from the hackers.
To prove that they had taken over her accounts, the hackers used her own email address to send a threatening message to Ms. Cleall.
“I’ve already taken care of your emails, phone number, and bank account,” read the email threat.
” I see everything. Fear me, we are coming … I also listen to all your phone calls.
And to drive home the point, the anonymous hackers also changed his laptop’s screen saver to a picture full of swear words.
Yet it was the least of Mrs. Cleall’s worries. The hackers had their sights set on his bank account.
They took $ 2,000 from him and then another $ 6,000 from the customers.
Her clients have been duped because they received invoices from Ms. Cleall’s hacked account.
A woman received two bills totaling almost $ 1,000, but luckily the bank was able to reimburse her.
“It was awful, absolutely awful,” Ms Cleall said. A topical matter.
“I was just in panic mode, I went straight to the police,” she said.
“No one could help me.”
Fortunately, Ms. Cleall’s business returned to normal after regaining control of her accounts. His bank was able to freeze his accounts and cancel the thefts.
News.com.au has reached out to Ms. Cleall for comment.
A new study released Wednesday by internet hosting company GoDadddy found that small Australian businesses like his are particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Research of 8,000 small businesses has shown that two out of three businesses in Australia have no security protection on their website and only 15% know how to handle an attack.
A whopping 22% of Australian business owners have experienced a security breach on their website.
Of these, 75 percent suffered website outages, 40 percent suffered an outage lasting more than three days, while 35 percent suffered reputational damage.
Unfortunately, 32 percent suffered financial loss for these hackers.
Other businesses hit by scammers
Last month, news.com.au reported a similar case in which a Victorian entrepreneur had his Instagram account hacked.
Alyce Gorgievski, who runs Hire A Kombi, lost her Instagram account to Turkish hackers in May this year.
Most of her customer base was from Instagram and she lost all data which amounted to severe financial loss.
Hackers ransomed her, claiming that she had to pay $ 500 in bitcoin if she wanted them to abandon her account.
Fortunately, after news.com.au reported her case in September, Ms Gorgievski’s Instagram page was returned within days.