A Cherokee County family fell victim to a computer scam earlier in the week.
A man contacted WEIS Radio on Thursday, to report that someone had called his home claiming to be affiliated with a company providing FREE computer clean-up services via the internet. The scammer had engaged the man’s wife on the phone – asking her a number of questions regarding the family computer – and, he led her to believe there were several problems within the computer operating system, which he could “fix” – all she had to do was give him the password.
Before she realized just what was going on she had given the scammer the password – and at that point, the husband took the phone and told the caller to “get lost” – however, it was too late; after hanging up the phone, the man went to his home computer, and it was completely locked down – meaning the hackers had already entered the database.
He called us from a local computer repair company – where they were attempting to re-open that computer and check for any viruses which may have infected the system.
Regardless of what can be done with the computer itself the real damage lies in what information the scammers may have able to derive, from breaking into the system – including any personal or private information such as bank account numbers, social security numbers and so on.
Remember – never EVER give out any sensitive information to someone that you don’t know.
Unfortunately these types of crimes are almost impossible to prosecute because the scammers are usually operating outside the country or simply can’t be found – so it’s really up to you to protect yourself.
Should you receive a call such as this – simply hang up.