Local Honeymoon Bay resident Sharon-Ann Dube has been the victim of a recent phone scam involving her computer. She received a phone call from a man who claimed that he was from the Windows-support team and that they had been receiving error reports from her computer.
Her computer had been quite slow lately so she was somewhat convinced that what he was saying was true. He had her sit down at her computer and walked her through steps to show her the infected areas. He then took over her computer with his mouse and continued showing her places within her system that were apparently “damaged.”
It was at that point during the conversation that he told her she needed to purchase a protection plan. There were three categories of antivirus software he described to her ranging from $49.95 to $169.95 and he explained that they could be purchased with a credit card.
Dube became suspicious at this point and asked him if he was trying to sell her something like Norton. He explained that no, he was not and again that he was calling from Windows support and it was necessary for her to purchase this in order to protect her computer from further damage. Dube told him that she was a senior and didn’t have that kind of money but asked if he would phone her back in a few hours and she would try to round something up to help pay for this.
After hanging up the phone, she phoned the local computer shop and explained to the owner what happened during the course of the phone call. When she told him that he had taken over her computer he advised her to turn her computer off immediately. The computer store owner said he had others come in with similar scams. Dube brought her computer to him and he fixed it. Luckily, not much damage was done as she didn’t waste time investigating the validity of the phone call she received.
Dube reported the scam to the RCMP as well. Although there is not much the RCMP can do about phone scams such as this, they provided Dube with the phone number for the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. Some people can feel embarrassed when they are victim to scams, but don’t be. It happens to many people. “It was a lesson learned and now I need to pass the info on.” says Dube.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre is a forum of people who help people recognize, report, and stop fraud. New scams are being created every day and can lead to great loss for the people being deceived by them. Be on guard when receiving phone calls that seem suspicious.
If you suspect that you have been scammed, report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre immediately at 1.888.495.8501 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.