SPOKANE, Wash. - It’s the latest in phone scams: a so-called representative calls you up, claims there’s something wrong with your computer, and then holds it hostage until you pay.Megan Connelly, Spokane, knows these scammers are frighteningly convincing. She didn’t give him access to her personal information, but she did give him access to her computer.
“[He] convinced me that he was part of the computer protection through my internet company,” Connelly said.
The man was able to tell Connelly the date she signed up for the protection plan, her account number and address.
“That convinced me that he probably was who he was pretending to be,” she said.
The alleged tech supporter said some of her computer programs stopped running and software was vulnerable. All she needed to do was give him remote access and hand over either $345 for three years protection or $445 for unlimited lifetime protection.
But when Connelly said she didn’t have the money and wasn’t going to hand over her personal information, the man locked her out of her own computer.
“Told me that in order for me to have access back to my computer that I would have to pay one of those amounts. When I told him no I wasn’t going to pay him, he called back seven times,” Connelly said.
She called Frontier who said there’s nothing they can do. She also called police, but because Connelly didn’t’ lose any money this scam isn’t technically a crime.
Police say if you get a call like this hang up and call the company itself. Don’t give up remote access unless you’re sure of whom you’re letting in.
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