Kansas woman lost over $ 100,000 in computer scam

WICHITA – The Sedgwick County District Attorney is once again alerting the public after a Kansas woman lost more than $ 100,000 in a computer scam. “Microsoft will never proactively contact you to provide you with unsolicited PC or technical support. If you receive a phone call claiming to be from Microsoft or if you see a pop-up window on your PC with a fake warning message and a phone number to call and fix your “problem”, you better be careful and don’t click on any links or provide personal information.

Never call the number indicated in the error message. True Microsoft error messages never include a phone number to call. This information can be found at the top of Microsoft’s security page.

A woman from Wichita recently received a message on her computer that contained a phone number. Unfortunately, she called him. Over the next several weeks, this decision cost him over $ 100,000.

The person who answered the call told the woman, who is almost 70, that her social security number had been compromised and that for security reasons she needed to transfer money from her account banking. The caller said Microsoft would then “clean” his computer of the virus. The woman also learned that others were listening to her phone calls.

As instructed, the woman went to her bank and, when the cashier asked her why she wanted to withdraw such large sums from her account, the woman replied, “These are investments for my family. The woman then told a consumer protection investigator at the district attorney’s office that the person on the phone recommended that she use the “investments” explanation if someone at the bank asked her about the withdrawals. . She then transferred the money to accounts under the direction of the alleged Microsoft “engineer”.

These calls continued between the woman and the so-called Microsoft “engineer” from July to September of this year. Before the woman’s family found out what was going on, the woman had lost over $ 100,000. Investigators from the district attorney’s office are trying to get the money back, but it is very rare that lost funds can be recovered in cases like this.

Unfortunately, this scam is not new. The “Microsoft scam”, as it is called, has been around since 2009. The usual setup is for crooks to call or email their target and identify themselves as a Microsoft “technician” or “engineer” (or from Microsoft – related company). They then inform their target that their Windows computer has a virus (or some other problem) that causes them to generate all kinds of error messages on the Internet. They tell the target that a number of bad consequences await them if no action is taken to correct the problem. Ultimately, the target is told that they must transfer the money from their bank accounts to safe places as per the scammer’s instructions while the issue is corrected.

The district attorney’s office does not want anyone else to fall into this trap. To avoid scams, please hang up the phone if you receive an unsolicited call from someone asking for personal information, or if the caller asks you to wire money, mail money, or put money in. money on gift cards.

If you are the victim of a scam, report it. Make a report with your local law enforcement.

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