(Walhalla, SC)————————————–In our continuing efforts to educate and inform our citizens, and to prevent them from becoming victims of scams, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is releasing today our January 2022 Scams Update.
Deputies were informed of a scam in which the victim’s computer was hacked. The hacker was reportedly able to gain remote access to the computer, upon which a window popped up with a number to tech support.
After calling the number, the victim provided some credit and debit card information. The victim was instructed to withdraw $15,000.00 from his account and re-deposit it in an ATM.
The victim went to his financial institution and spoke with an employee of the bank, who cancelled all of his cards and advised him that no transaction had taken place.
“As we have advised previously, do not allow anyone remote access to your computer unless you have initiated a call for work to be performed on your device,” says Master Deputy Jimmy Watt, Public Information Officer for the Sheriff’s Office. “Also, do not provide any type of financial account information to anyone, unless you have initiated or requested work to be done. If any financial information has been compromised, contact the financial institutions who handle your accounts and make them aware of what is going on. You may want to request that those accounts be closed.”
Sheriff Mike Crenshaw received information on a computer scam as well. According to the Sheriff Crenshaw, a computer in a residence started making a beeping sound after an incoming e-mail with an alert to call a telephone number.
The scammer pretended to help solve the issue and got the homeowner to mail money to take care of the issue and prevent it from happening again.
“Citizens should hang up and restart the computer,” according to Sheriff Crenshaw. “Never open any attachments in an e-mail if you are unsure of the sender. Look for misspelled words or punctuation errors to help you in determining the authenticity of an e-mail.”
A deputy spoke with a victim whom stated that a company, that appeared to be from DirecTV, offered him a deal for four months of free television. The victim would have to pay $500 up front using an eBay card from any store.
The victim bought the card and sent the company the money. The company stated that they never received the money. The victim called eBay, which requested a law enforcement report to prove fraudulent intent.
“If something sounds too good to be true, more often than not it is,” says Master Deputy Watt. “If someone requests a payment through some type of prepaid card, automatically assume it is a scam. Legitimate businesses and organizations will not require you to make a payment using some type of prepaid card.”