A couple of weeks ago, I received a message from a friend of mine.
It said, “Sorry, this email is not from me.
I’m just sending this to you because you’ve been a fan of our site for a while now.
We need to discuss the subject of a recent article we read about you.
Your email address will not be shared.
Please don’t click the link.”
I clicked it and it was an email from a phishing scammer who had sent me an email claiming to be from my favorite sports team.
He also sent me a link to a website that was selling my email address.
The article I’d read about him had included his email address, the name of my favorite team, and a link that said “Get Phishing Done.”
When I clicked that link, it was a phish attack page.
It didn’t take long for the malicious script to run, stealing all of my credentials.
It was like a hit squad of ransomware.
I had to reboot my computer and start all over again.
But my friend didn’t know what was happening.
He told me the following: “You’re not going to like this.”
I had read that the NFL was going to ban fans from the locker room, so I thought maybe I’d go to the stadium to watch a game.
I started walking toward the stadium, and I noticed there was a line of people.
I saw one of them look at me and say, “Can I have your email address?”
I responded, “I’m sorry, that’s not what this email address is for.”
He told him, “You can’t get your email from me, because I’m not on the NFL team.”
I started telling him I was from the Cleveland Browns.
“I know that you are a fan.
We’re all fans of your team.
But we have to discuss this matter.
You need to leave your email and we can talk about this matter.”
He responded, “[This email address] is not for you.
If you don’t leave it, it will be shared with the world.”
My friend was worried, so he told me he was going home and that he would try to reach out to my wife and kids, and he hoped they would understand what was going on.
I texted him back, “Don’t worry, it’s okay.
I know it’s scary, but you can talk to your family and talk to my kids.
It will be okay.”
That night, I was at home watching the Cleveland Indians game, when my wife said to me, “Mom, we’re getting ready to go to bed.”
I replied, “What do you mean?”
She said, I need to tell my kids that you’re coming home from the stadium.
I told them to go downstairs and call me.
They didn’t have to do that.
But they did.
I was crying and thinking, “Is this what it’s going to be like?
When I’m home alone?
What will I do when they start asking me to give them my email?”
I was still trying to think of how I was going through it.
I didn’t even know what to say.
The next day, I got a text from my wife: “I just want to say something about this.”
It said “My husband wants to talk to you about the situation.”
She wrote, “That’s not how it’s supposed to go.”
I told her I was coming home to find out what the story was.
“No, it doesn’t,” she said.
I said, You’re not even going to talk about it with your kids.
She texted back, That’s okay, I’ll go see my kids at home.
She called me the next day and told me, You know, you have to talk.
“You should talk to him,” she told me.
“Don’s not going away,” I told the phone.
She replied, Yes, we can.
But I don’t want him to go away.
I wanted to tell him about my wife’s story, but I knew he wouldn’t be willing to do it.
So I said to her, I’m sorry I didn.
But, he is a very loyal guy.
I just want him out of my life.
I knew she was right, and that’s why I called my wife.
“Can you call your husband?”
She said no, I can’t.
I think it’s important for us to understand what’s going on with your family.
“How do I tell my wife?”
I told my wife, “How to contact your husband.”
“How can I reach him?”
She replied that she doesn’t know how.
I asked her how she knows that I’m her husband.
“Your husband,” she replied, “‘Is your email?”
“Your husband’s email,” I said.
“What does that mean?”
I then asked