Oxford County OPP are reminding residents about the ongoing danger of personal computer and personal banking scams. Police have received complaints from residents throughout Oxford County who have been targeted by or fallen victim to one version.
On Tuesday, July 30, police were contacted by a concerned resident after they received a call from a male who advised he was conducting a bank audit on her bank against the bank tellers. The suspect told the resident to explain to tellers that the money was for a sick relative. The resident agreed to meet the male in a public place and gave the suspect $4,600 in cash. The suspect then called the resident after the meeting and said what a good job they did and they would be kept apprised of the investigation.
The suspect male is described as: male, white, in his 50s with a thin build, clean shaven with dark hair, wearing a dark blue vest and a brown felt hat.
Following are tips taken from an OPP press release, issued due to the fact police have seen an increase in calls from members of the public about computer virus scams. One scam starts out with the residence receiving a call out of the blue from someone claiming to be from Windows or Microsoft who has detected a virus on the targeted victim’s computer.
To confirm the diagnosis, the caller asks the victim to open Windows Event Viewer on their computer to check if it is infected. Several error messages are listed and this reinforces their claims, even though errors are common and usually harmless. The caller tells the victim these are of significant concern and offers to refer a ‘technician’ who could fix the problem - for a fee - and will require remote access to the computer.
At this point, the victim is offered a number of solutions that seem to make perfect sense. Depending on the intent of the particular scammer involved, the ‘technician’ might:
Install an antivirus program on the computer, typically the kind downloadable for free from reputable companies and charge up to $250 for the service.
Ask for credit card details but install nothing. Those details might then be sold to other parties or used for fraudulent purposes.
Install malware on the computer—this enables the victim’s computer to be controlled remotely for other illegal and harmful activities.
Access and steal personal and financial details.
Scammers have also been known to make follow-up calls to people who initially fell victim to the scam. In these calls the scammer falsely claims to be from a foreign government, foreign law enforcement body, or from a bank, and offers to recover the money initially lost in return for a fee.
Don’t accept anything at face value, if it sounds unlikely or too good to be true, it probably is.
Recognize the signs, if you’re being pressured to act, disclose personal details or send money to a stranger, it’s almost certainly a scam. Act quickly, contact the O.P.P. at 1-888-310-1122 and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.