Phone scam reported in South Lake Tahoe
January 20, 2017
A phone scam, in which the callers pretend to be from Microsoft, is occurring in South Lake Tahoe and law enforcement is warning residents not to fall for the deceptive scheme.
The South Lake Tahoe Police Department has recently received calls regarding residents receiving calls from people pretending to be from Microsoft, but are really attempting to have victims send them money, according to a press release.
One recent case targeted a senior South Lake Tahoe couple. The scammers called from an unknown number and claimed to be from Microsoft. The scammer told the victim that the couple had overpaid Microsoft in the past and Microsoft wanted to refund them the money.
The scammer had the victim turn on their computer in order to gain remote access. As a result, the scammer was able to access the victim's bank account and deposited a sum of money well in excess of the alleged refund. The scammer then asked the victim to send them the excess amount. Thankfully, the victim did not send the money and was able to work with their bank and stop all access by the scammer.
This type of scam has become widespread across California and the country. It often originates out of the country and can be very difficult to investigate. The Federal Trade Commission is aware of this scam and has an informational webpage the public can access to learn more: http://bit.ly/1XIF9RV
The South Lake Tahoe Police Department reminds residents to not allow access to their computers or to give out any personal information. Information such as names, birth dates, social security numbers, debit/credit card numbers and banking information can be used to commit fraud. The same is true for any solicitation or requests for money received by email.