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Hingham, MA - Two senior residents lost thousands in separate scams that began with fraudulent messages that their computer had a virus. In total, they were scammed out of $36,500.
The first resident, a 76 year old, received a text message in April that his computer had a virus and he should call "MSN for technical support" at a number the scammer provided. The resident called and allowed remote access for what he thought "the installation of a firewall to prevent future technical issues". Over a four month period the resident was contacted several times by the same person to again allow remote access. A total of four electronic checks were made out to various companies by the scammers totaling almost $19,000. This week, he was contacted again for a check for $2,499 for an additional "virus protection software" but he contacted his bank who told him it was a scam.
The second resident, a 72 year old, recently received a computer message from "Microsoft" informing him his computer was being hijacked. He called the number on the message and relayed all of his banking information to the scammer so they could "close his hijacked account and open a new secure account" for him. Shortly after, he then learned his checking account and money market account had been completely emptied. The scammers stole $17,500 from his two accounts.
These scams, many times referred to as the "Microsoft Security Scam", have been happening for years with variations and adaptions made over time. If you receive a message, text or email, simply delete them. If you suspect or worry that your computer or bank/credit card accounts have been actually compromised, always call/email them directly only on the number or email provided on your actual card or statement (never on the phone or email provided in the unsolicited text, phone call or email message).
As always, please share or talk about this common scam with your relatives and friends. ### Contact P.I.O. Lt. Steven Dearth