Basalt business owner warns of computer email scam | AspenTimes.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Basalt business owner warns of computer email scam

If you get an email stating Federal Express unsuccessfully tried to deliver a package to your address, don’t open it, advises Basalt business owner John Fitzpatrick.

The owner of High Tone Automotive received such an email Friday. The message said he had to open an attachment to get information about the sender and tracking information. When Fitzpatrick arrived at work on Monday he found his computer had been “hijacked” after he opened the attachment. All his Excel files were encrypted and there were instructions about where to send payment via Bitcoin, the digital asset and payment system, to regain access to his files.

“They’re professionals,” Fitzpatrick said. He knew the warnings about not opening attachments on emails surrounded by any uncertainty, but he said he does a lot of business through FedEx and thought he possibly missed a package during altered hours for Fourth of July.



He is going to pay the ransom to earn the release of his computer’s files. He estimated it will cost about $320. Fortunately, he said, the attack didn’t affect his firm’s server.

Fitzpatrick said he is aware of at least one other person who received the same email, though he had already been warned by Fitzpatrick and didn’t open the attachment. Fitzpatrick wants to get the word out to other people, and specifically business owners who might be targeted, not to open the email.


Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.



“That’s all I’m after,” Fitzpatrick said of awareness of the scam. “It’s not ‘Woe is me.’”


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.

 

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User


Crime

Man disavows bogus defense before prison sentence

A Mesa County man who attempted to assert the bogus “sovereign citizen” defense to cover for squatting in a Mountain Valley home in 2019 disavowed the doctrine Tuesday and was sentenced to prison.



See more