By Patrick Yost
A Madison woman was scammed out of nearly $6,000 on November 10 after she answered a phone call.
According to Morgan County Sheriff’s Office reports, a 64–year–old Creekwood Circle resident told a deputy that on November 10 she received a phone call from a man identifying himself as “Mr. Fred Jones.” The man told her she had a virus on her computer and “he would remove it for $349.99.”
The woman said she paid the man using a credit card and on Thursday, November 17 the man called her back and said that he had made a mistake and that her computer did not have a virus. The man said he wanted to refund the woman her money.
The man then convinced the woman that he would need to put the money in her checking account. The woman, while talking with the suspect, opened her checking account on–line and gave the man access to the account.
The man then took over access to her computer and attempted to withdraw $20,000 from the woman’s account but there was not enough money in the account. The woman said the man then attempted to take $17,000 and demanded that she send $2,888 to him and another $2,888 to a “Xavier Jones” or he would not give her the $17,000 back. The woman said the man began to communicate on Skype with her and that she attempted to fake having a heart attack. “He told her to cut it out and get to Wal Mart and wire the money,” reports state.
The woman said she went to the Madison Wal Mart but an employee there refused to do the wire transfer and warned the woman that she was being defrauded out of her money.
The woman, reports state, then went to Wal Mart in Eatonton and wire the money.
According to Capt. Chris Bish, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, the computer virus scam is nothing new for local residents. Bish warned citizens to be wary of unwanted email, specifically email that included attachments that can infect a computer. He also suggested that if residents receive a phone call that is questionable, they call the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office (706 342 1507) for clarification.