Friday, Aug. 20, 2021 | 2 a.m.
The message looked legit.
“How are you?” it began. “Hope you are keeping safe. Are you available via email? I need your help.”
Long Beach, Calif., resident Anne Supple told me she and her husband, Charley, had no reason to question the recent email from one of their neighbors, who they knew was out of town.
The name was correct. It was sent from her proper email address.
“I am right where you left me,” Charley replied in a bantering tone. “How can I help you?”
Then came the followup.
“Thanks for responding,” it said. “Actually, I need to get GOOGLE PLAY GIFT CARDS for my Niece who had Heart operation some days ago she had lost both parents to the disease (COVID-19).
“It’s her birthday but I can’t do this right now because I have arthritis in the knees and ankles. They are giving me problems. I am going up and down one step at a time. This method is…