Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Same Old Scams - New Victims


The holidays are fast approaching and most of us will spend a good deal of money on gifts and other things to help us enjoy the holiday festivities. The majority of us work very hard in order to pay for those things, but there are many who rely on other, unlawful ways.

Scammers all across the globe will also be working hard to pay for all the things they plan to buy, as well. This usually means we’ll be seeing an increase in the number of reports regarding old scams, sometimes with a different twist, or even a new scam.

We routinely try to put information out there about the various scams because it’s something we feel is important to keep the public informed of. It’s true that most of the victims are elderly, but anyone call fall victim to the many different scams out there.

Here’s an example of an ongoing scam that was reported to us just yesterday:

The victim received an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be with Microsoft Technical Support. The victim said he was having trouble with his computer lately, so he didn`t think anything of it when the caller said he was calling to help him fix his computer. The scammer told him to go to his computer and he could perform various tasks remotely to fix it. He then directed the victim to a Western Union website where he would be charged only $9.00 for fixing his computer.

After the victim entered his credit card number and the three-digit code on the back of the card, the caller advised he was going to take over the computer to change a few items. The victim said he was not touching his computer, but could see the cursor on his computer moving.

The scammer told the victim that his credit card wasn’t working and asked for another one. After trying another card and advising that one didn’t work either, the caller ended the encounter and advised he would call back later for payment.

The victim later thought about what transpired and decided to contact his credit card company. They told him two separate wire transfers were attempted on his cards for a total of almost $1500. The bank denied both transactions so the victim was not out any money.

Luckily for the victim, his bank was able to intercede and prevent him from becoming a financial victim, but unfortunately that’s not always the case. It is our hope that people will take a few moments to confirm the source before giving out personal or financial information to a stranger.

The officer on this case advised the victim to contact the three credit reporting agencies to have them place a fraud alert on his account. He also decided to take his computer into a local computer repair center to have the experts fix the problem. Hopefully, the bill will be a lot less than it could have been in this case.