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A Scam Reported by the Police

November 15, 2017

Sorry to report another scam so soon, but the police just reported this on Nextdoor Northgate, and they asked that it be shared.

The theme of these computer scams seems to be getting you to call the number in the message instead of looking up a legitimate phone number.  This is usually a pain, because any company wants to discourage you from talking to a live person, because it costs them money.  But companies have to do better, if nothing more than it costs them more time to deal with people who have lost money.

Anther hallmark of a scam is asking for payment in a form that’s untraceable, such as apple ITunes cards.

 

Here is the post:

Detective Tamara Keagy, Walnut Creek Police Department
Beware of Phone Scams

Yesterday, I responded to a call in which an elderly victim’s computer screen went blank until a message appeared advising her to call Apple support because her system had been compromised. When she called, a male, identifying himself as an Apple employee, advised her to quickly obtain $1000 in ITunes gift cards to pay to have her system serviced. She was told her information had already been 80% compromised and she needed to have the repairs done ASAP. After obtaining the Apple iTunes gift cards, she provided the gift card information to the male. The victim later contacted her family who determined she was the victim of a scam and called WCPD.

The victim was embarrassed, but she agreed that I should share her story in hope to save others from the financial loss she suffered. The feeling of shame or ignorance is exactly what scammers prey on, in hopes we don’t share these stories and they can continue to profit off innocent victims. Scammers often create a false sense of urgency that makes us feel as thought we are in a vulnerable state.

There are several types of scams and I am certain several more will come. The best way for us to defend ourselves is to share our experiences with others and know what to watch for when interacting with others who might be out to scam you.

Scammers usually try to get a person out of rational thought by playing with their emotions. This could be putting a person in fear that a loved one was injured or incarcerated, a panic that they forgot to pay taxes, or even a feeling of joy that they just won a large sum of money. The scammer will urge the person to make quick decisions that they probably would have not make when they weren’t overwhelmed with emotions. The sense of urgency makes a person feel pressured to react quickly and don’t think through our actions.

Often, these scammers gain large quantities of money when they prey on the emotions of others.

I can’t predict the next scam tactic, but I am certain several can recall previous scams. Please share with others and warn them of what scammers do in hopes that we all can avoid being future victims.

Thank you for reading and sharing,

Officer Keagy

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