O’Brien County Sheriff Advises Of Scams; Tells People To Protect Personal Information

Scam AlertPrimghar, Iowa — O’Brien County Sheriff Michael Anderson is advising the public of two popular scams that are being used against northwest Iowans.

In one of the scams, a victim told authorities that they had purchased a computer from a computer store earlier this month and recently received a call from a company identifying themselves as “Microsoft support”. The scammer told the victim that they knew a computer had just been purchased and knew all their information. They went on to say that the victim had a fast-growing virus and needed to push a button located on the bottom right of their computer, which the victim did. Later in the call the scammer said that for a $20 charge they could add the support to take care of the virus. They continued asking the victim for a credit card number, which the victim refused to give. The victim asked them for a callback number and subject gave a number of 315-215-1156. The victim called the number and a man answered as “Microsoft Support”. [According to online reports of a similar scam, the scammer tricks the victim into giving online control to the scammer.] When the scammer finally knew he was not going to get callers credit card number, he said, “either give me your credit card number or I’ll shut your computer down.” When the victim refused, he shut their computer down. Victim has since taken their computer to the computer store where it was purchased it to see if they can fix it.

In the other scam, Sheriff Anderson says a victim received a call from a person saying that he is with the Social Security Department and the reporting party would be getting a new Social Security Card. The scammer asked what bank the reporting party is with. No information was given. The caller ID showed “voice net” and the number captured was 248-742-3843. The victim did contact their bank and alert them about this as well. The victim also attempted to call back the number retrieved from caller ID. Once dialed, a voice recording stated that the phone number was not in service.

Sheriff Anderson says northwest Iowans need to be aware of these types of calls and just hang up. He says don’t give out any personal, business, banking or financial information to the caller.

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