An elderly lady was recently scammed out of $12,000 as a caller posed as a computer technician claiming they found child pornography on her computer. They told the elderly individual that if she didn't pay to have this taken care of they would have to report it to local law enforcement. The caller instructed the person to obtain gift cards from JCPenny's and Home Depot.
The caller then wanted her to scan the cards after scratching off the code on the back of them. They where so helpful that they took control of her computer and wirelessly setup her printer and scanner. The cards where scanned in and the money was instantly transferred and disappeared.
Scammers are constantly changing and adapting the way they try to scam a person. If the offer seems to good to be true or they are calling asking you to pay for services with gift cards then it is more than likely a scam.
Here are some simple tips to avoid scammers:
Scammers Pressure You To Send Money Fast Don't be pressured. Before giving out any money over the phone or computer, stop first to ask, family friends or the Montana Office of Consumer Protection.
Scammers Pretend To Be Trustworthy. Sometimes they pretend to be from the government, like the IRS. Sometimes they pretend to be a family member, or an online friend or romantic partner. It's OK to have relationship's online or over the phone. Just be CAREFUL about sending money or personal information. Stop first to ask family, friends or the Montana Office of Consumer Protection.
Scammers Find You Before You Find Them. If you did not initiate the phone call and the person who called you is demanding financial or social security information, DO NOT GIVE IT. Stop first to ask family, friends or the Montana Office of Consumer Protection.
Scammers Can Fake Caller-ID. Just because a caller-ID phone number looks legitimate, doesn't mean it is. Practice these tips even if the caller-ID number looks real.