Persistent scammers target area
PADUCAH — He was told his computer had to be fixed and the person on the other line would do it for free.
A man claiming to be from Microsoft said he had the solution but a local computer expert said the scammer had other plans entirely.
They're all after the same thing: your personal information. But this time they've stepped things up a bit, knowing persistence pays off.
"The first couple of times I was like, look, there's no problem with my computer," Demika Ferguson said. "It's no business of yours and what not and they just kept calling again and again and again."
And when they got Ferguson's fiance on the phone, they told her they were from Microsoft, had received an automated email from the computer and that it was infected but could easily be fixed. All they needed was the I.P. Address, so she gave it to them.
"That's kind of like giving them your Social Security number if they don't have that number they're really just fishing, trying to get your information," said Ed Rikel, president of Computer Source in Paducah.
He fears it's happening a lot lately, specifically with phone numbers starting with 270 and 618. In fact, he got two back to back calls from his customers, who say they, too, were targeted.
"Any time someone contacts you that you didn't ask to contact you, is a red flag," Rikel said.
Ferguson caught on but worried it may be too late.
"The one website that popped up I noticed was Western Union and as soon as that popped up, I'm like, you gotta get off the phone now. We unplugged the computer, turned the Wi-Fi off, took the battery out, everything," Rikel said.
But the calls keep coming, forcing Ferguson to tell them like it is.
"I let them know I know it's a fraud, it's a scam, I'm not going to fall for it," Ferguson said.
Ferguson said he immediately called his bank and changed his bank account numbers.
Rikel said you should not only do that but change your passwords as well. He said you never know what scammers are looking for and, of course, take your computer to a professional because you don't want malware or spyware sitting on your computer.