Woman falls victim to well-orchestrated computer blackmail scam - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Woman falls victim to well-orchestrated computer blackmail scam


A cyber criminal has struck again, this time it was by phone.

The scammer gained the confidence of his victim and stole important computer files. He then blackmailed her and told her she could buy them back for $99.

This scam has been happening for a few years, callers claimed to represent "Microsoft," when in reality, they're cyber thieves.

In this case, the victim, Linda Claps from Old Lyme, was at home, not on the computer, when she answered the phone.

"I answered the telephone they said it was so and so from Microsoft," Claps said.

Claps said she had a gut feeling it was a scam. The caller was from an area code she didn't recognize, talked fast and urged her to get on her computer to make some urgent changes because it was infected with hundreds of viruses.

"Next thing I know, I had him remotely connected to my computer system and I'm watching him take my files," Claps said. "I'm screaming and yelling 'get off my computer'. At that point in time, I just took the battery out of my computer and it was all over."

Microsoft is aware of the scam and warns consumers that they will never call.

If your computer was hacked by a con, Microsoft advises you to do the following items:

  • Change your password
  • Perform a malware scan
  • Install Microsoft security essentials, it's free

"After he had taken control of my computer and he locked me out then he said 'for $99 I can give you back all your stuff,'" Claps said. "I'm like, 'I'm not paying you. You told me in the beginning there's no sales in this, no money involved' blah-blah-blah. He said 'just give me $99 and I'll give you all your stuff.'"

Claps said she notified police and had a local professional computer repair person reset her laptop. However, Claps said it's not the same and her advice is if someone claims they're from Microsoft, hang up the phone.

Microsoft officials said they will never call you.

Copyright 2014 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.