A school principal in Volusia County, Florida has resigned after sending $100,000 to a scammer posing as Elon Musk, WESH 2 News reports. Dr. Jan McGee from the Burns Science and Technology Charter School had been in communication with the individual for four months, even though her colleagues warned her that it was a scam.
“McGee told a packed audience she was taken in by a fake Elon Musk, someone posing online as the space pioneer,” WESH 2 says. “Someone she'd been talking with for at least four months despite being warned by staff that the person was a fraud. She claims he groomed her.”
“Grooming is when you talk to somebody and you believe in them, and they get you to trust them that this is really real, and so I fell for it,” McGee said.
McGee had been hoping to secure an investment from Musk for the school, so she was susceptible to the scammer’s offer.
“For years, principal McGee talked to anyone who would listen about getting Musk and his money involved in the STEM school, a stone's throw from the Space Coast, and apparently thought she'd finally gotten his ear,” WESH 2 writes.
McGee wrote an unauthorized $100,000 check to a person she thought was Elon Musk’s assistant, with the expectation that she would receive a $6 million investment in return. However, the check was blocked before it was paid out.
“The principal had authorization to write a check up to $50,000 out of the account but no more without board approval, which she did not get,” WESH 2 says. “Fortunately, the school's business manager, Brent Appy, got wind and stopped the check before it cleared.”
New-school security awareness training can give your employees a healthy sense of suspicion so they can avoid being taken in by social engineering attacks.
WESH 2 News has the story.