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Former Assistant Attorney General of State in Watertown warns of Computer Virus Scam

John T. Sullivan Jr. when switch on his iMac computer for doing some online banking on November 28, 2018, an alert notice was there on his computer screen. The notice warned him that he would not be able to use his device as it was locked, and for rectifying the situation he need to call the toll free phone number of 1-833.

 

He said as the message on the screen had Apple logo, he thinks that it was official message of the company. "I thought, 'Oh, geez. Somehow, somebody has thrown a Trojan horse into my computer. I'd better take care of it.'" Thus, in reply he makes a call to the toll free phone number, 1-833-447-6444.

 

Mr. Sullivan then said that the guy on the other side told that he's a certified technician of Apple and can help him remove this bug. However, the technician also said that for removing the bug, he needs access of his computer. Mr. Sullivan though not sure, but still allows the technician complete access of his computer.

 

Soon after, the technician told him that he needs to pay $199.99 (i.e. a one-time fee) for technician's services as his iMac's warranty had expired. He said, "I thought, that sounds reasonable. My warranty has expired. It's a 10-year-old computer". But, then the technician said that he is transferring the call to another guy who will tell him the process of payment, as he will not take the money.

 

The new person told him that he needs to make the payment by check, with information being taken over the phone. The guy also added that Sullivan's routing number as well as bank account number had to be included. Then Mr. Sullivan had to fill a form that appears on the computer screen. He said "I'm reluctant, but I'm thinking this must be legit".

 

Again the call was transferred to the original guy he talked to. The guy told Mr. Sullivan that he needed to send them an authorization email confirming this transaction. Thus Mr. Sullivan typed: "I authorize this transaction based upon the premise that I'm authorizing an Apple-certified technician to fix my computer". But, to his dismay, he saw that "Apple-certified technician" part getting deleted.

 

As a result, Mr. Sullivan has become suspicious and thus called customer support line of iMac. The Apple technician after hearing everything told him that it looks like a scam. The technician further told him that he will help him resolve his computer problem for free, and will call him back within an hour. However, he told Mr. Sullivan to contact the bank immediately. Thus, Mr. Sullivan called the bank and enquired about the transaction, which was still pending. He immediately stops payment of the $199.99 check and changed the computer password.

 

Mr. Sullivan then visited his bank on November 28, 2018, and said that "I had to sign a million papers and change everything". He also warns other people to be careful of the computer virus scam.

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