A retired Johnston County couple lost $40,000 in a computer hacking scam. The elderly woman was on her home computer recently and saw a pop-up message appear with a telephone number to call for technical support.
The victim called and was told by the scammer they were with technical support and needed remote access to repair her computer. The victim allowed remote access not realizing the fraudster had hacked into their online bank account. The suspect used the stolen account information to purchase 100 $400 gift cards from Macy’s.
Later, the couple realized $40,000 was missing from their bank account.
According to the US Justice Department, tech support scams are widespread. They often use the name of a well-known company or use internet pop-up messages to warn about non-existent computer problems. Pretending to be tech support, they obtain remote access. In some cases they demand large sums of money for unnecessary services, hack into online accounts, or induce victims to send money or payments for various reasons.
In this incident, the victims waited nearly 6 months to report the theft to law enforcement. Authorities say cybercrimes should be reported immediately.