EDMOND, Okla. — It’s a common practice; scam artists targeting Oklahomans over the phone. Authorities say some are calling from a reputable company and make it seem like they want to help but two Edmond woman said they’re up to no good.
Around 5 p.m.Thursday night, Beverly Long got a phone call.
She said, “A man named Chris said he was from Windows Tech Support and he thought I had a problem with my computer.”
Long went to her computer, pulled up the start menu and followed his instructions for about an hour.
Those moves gave him remote control of her computer and that is when the alarms went off.
Long said, “A whole list of errors and warnings came up and he asked, ‘Can you delete that?’ Well there wasn’t a delete option available.”
From that point, he told her she needed new anti-virus software and put her on the phone with his supervisor, who also had a thick Middle-Eastern accent.
She had an easy fix to this new-found computer problem.
Long said “She said, ‘I can get you all this virus protection, malware protection and a whole list of things.”
The price tag was $150, but if she paid right then online it would only cost $100.
At that point, Long was suspicious and did not pay.
However, even after the call ended, they still had control over her computer.
She said, “The cursor was going everywhere so I just turned it off.”
The callers were already able to see all of her private financial information.
Fortunately, she began warning her friends about the phone call that night.
Terri Powell said, “About 5 o’clock my phone rings and the caller ID said ‘out of area’ but I went ahead and answered it and I hear this man says this is Chris and we have several reports from your computer showing problems.”
Before he could finish the same script he gave Long, Powell took over the conversation.
She said, “I said, now what did you say your name was? He said Chris, and I said what is your phone number and it was silent for a short time then all of a sudden click he hung up.”
Joe Carson, attorney and consumer advocate, said, “These people will wipe you out. They’ll take everything you got.”
Carson says there are steps you should take anytime someone calls you for a business matter.
He said, “Get their name, who they are working for and their phone number and tell them you will call them back.”
Carson says if they are not willing to do that, hang up the phone immediately and report it.
He said, “These people are trained to take advantage of you. A lot of time they do it by pressuring you. Whatever you do not give in to pressure, stand your ground.”
Officials say less than 10 percent of victims report being scammed and that allows criminals to swindle more people.