On January 16th, 2022, at approximately 2:21 pm, the victim contacted the police department about a possible scam. The victim, who resides in the 1000 block of Alison Avenue, advised their computer screen froze while they were using it. There was a message which appeared on the screen telling the victim they needed to contact Microsoft and provided a phone number. The victim called the number and the victim spoke with a female who answered the phone. The female provided instructions to the victim to get some parts of the computer working again. The female asked the victim if their phone number ended in “8”. The victim advised their cell phone number did end in “8”. The victim was told the female could see his bank account was just charged $6,000 by someone in China.
The victim was told to hang up their phone and wait for a call from their bank. A few minutes later the victim’s phone rang and the victim spoke with the individual on the phone. The victim was told their account was hacked and they would need to purchase gift cards to have the money refunded back to their account. The victim was repeating the instructions back to the individual when the victim’s spouse told them to stop talking. The victim ended the phone call. The victim attempted to speak with their bank, but found the bank had just closed. The victim contacted the police department and was informed this was a scam. The victim was told to follow up with their bank the next business day to make sure the account had not been charged anything. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the police department.
The purchasing of gift cards and giving the gift card numbers over the phone, is a common way for scammers to obtain money. If you are asked to purchase a gift cards for payment of things over the phone, end the phone call. Call and speak to your bank or police department.