Computer Scam Hitting Gallatin Valley
The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office has received many calls reporting a scam involving pop-ups on victims' computers.
Once a victim clicks on the pop-up, a message will appear telling them that their computer has a virus and to call the phone number shown to avoid damage or data loss.
When the victim calls the number, a person will answer claiming to be from a technology company, with many different company names being used that sound legitimate.
The scammers will demand remote access to the victim’s computer. They will then demand banking or credit card information in order to pay for the “repairs.”
Victims will be charged up to $8,000, as the scammers will move money in and out of accounts. If the victim stops allowing money transfers, the scammers will lock the computer or otherwise disable it, so that it has to be professionally repaired.
These scammers are aggressive, convincing and persistent. They will call multiple times in an hour, keeping the victim confused about the status of the computer and the money that is being transferred out of the victim’s accounts.
Sometimes the scammers will request that the victim purchase gift cards or money transfers and provide the numbers to the scammers.
The Sheriff’s Office wants people to be aware of this scam. If you are contacted by these scammers, do not send them money and do not allow them access to your computer as they can attach harmful spyware and malware to your computer.
The Gallatin County Sheriff's Office contributed to this report.