Richmond man hooked by Google phishing scam after opening email from RPS employee

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A nationwide email phishing scam has hit Central Virginia.

8News spoke with one Richmond man who was hooked by the scam after opening an email he thought was from a Richmond Public Schools employee. Now, he wants to make sure others don’t fall victim, too.

“Originally, I just thought it was an email coming from RPS,” he said. “But that wasn’t the case.”


Kevin Starlings does a lot of volunteer work with Richmond Public Schools and the city. So when he received an email from a account, he didn’t think twice about opening it.

“Immediately after I opened it, it hacked my email account and started sending that same spam message out to everybody in my email contacts,” he explained.

Starlings called the school system to warn them. An RPS official told 8News their IT department is working to put additional safeguards in place.

We recently informed our employees about a phishing scam that appears to be targeting school divisions and other state agencies. Our IT department is ensuring that we have the appropriate safeguards in place to protect our network. Additionally, all Richmond Public Schools employees are advised to remain diligent in protecting their personal information and the information of others when communicating electronically.

As for Stallings, he has just a simple piece of advice:

“Don’t open it,” he said. “If you got it from me, don’t open it. If you got it from someone else, don’t open it because, in all honesty, emails being compromised there’s a lot of information in there that shouldn’t be shared out.”

Click here for more information about the scam.

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