Scammer locks Acadiana resident’s computer for not giving personal information up

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A scam has targeted one Acadiana resident who claims she paid a company $500 last year for virus protection on her computer. 

The company recently contacted the woman demanding she go to a website and enter personal information, including her social security number. 

Since this scam victim refused to give her personal information demanded by the scammer… they then retaliated by locking her computer, leaving her no access to it. 

Experts say this scam happens much too often. 

According to the Federal Trade Commission, scammers pretend to be with a well-known tech company. They use tactics to convince consumers that there are problems with their computer, but really there isn’t. 

To fix the so-called problems, the scammers may ask consumers for remote access to their computer. This allows the scammer access to all information stored. 

“You want to make sure you have a good antivirus on your system. There’s some antivirus’s that’ll do a linkup through their system that gives you even more protection. Some of them have internet protection separately from an antivirus,” adds Karen Willingham, Manager of Doghouse Computers. 

Willingham advises consumers to always make sure they’re also on a correct website. 

She says, “You want to make sure that you’re at their correct website and not a website that looks like it’s the real thing so you need to look at the address bar and see what it’s actually saying and make sure you’re at the right place.” 

Willingham explains a little research goes a long way. 

“Keep an eye on where you’re at. What’s going on,” adds Willingham. “You never know so you have to do a little investigation. Read more than one thing on what’s going on with it because you could be on another scam site saying ‘Hey we can take care of this let us get on your system and you let somebody in.” 

Here are some tips from the Federal Trade Commission to protect yourself from this scam: 

  • Change your passwords regularly. This includes your computer login, and any other saved passwords. 

  • Get rid of malware such as updating or downloading legitimate security software.  

  • Ask your credit card company to reverse charges if you may have bought inefficient anti-virus services with a certain tech company. 

Another tip from the Federal Trade Commission is to regularly check your credit card statements to make sure a scammer doesn’t try to re-charge you every month for a so-called anti-virus software system. 

If this scam or a similar computer scam targets you, report it to the Federal Trade Commission. 

If you have a scam you’d like me to investigate, feel free to send me an email at smasters@klfy.com.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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