Home Security Operations Woman loses thirty-seven thousand dollars in phantom hacker scam

Woman loses thirty-seven thousand dollars in phantom hacker scam

Woman loses thirty-seven thousand dollars in phantom hacker scam

Diane Peltier, a resident of Westminster, Colorado, is coming forward with her experience in the hopes of preventing others from falling victim to a similar scam. She recently found herself entangled in what is known as the phantom hacker scam, a fraudulent scheme that targets unsuspecting individuals. According to the FBI, these types of scams, including impostor scams, have cost Americans over $1.3 billion in 2023.

Last Wednesday, while Peltier was in the midst of paying bills online, her computer suddenly froze and displayed a message claiming she had been hacked. The message instructed her to contact Microsoft to resolve the issue. Feeling alarmed, Peltier dialed the phone number that appeared on her screen, believing it was a legitimate connection to Microsoft.

Upon speaking with the individual on the other end of the line, Peltier was reassured that they would assist her in addressing the supposed hacking incident. However, as the conversation progressed, the scammer gained remote access to her computer and began to manipulate her by showing fake alerts about her bank account being compromised.

Further complicating the situation, Peltier was transferred to a woman named Alison, who purported to be from her bank’s fraud department. Alison convinced Peltier that her funds were in jeopardy and advised her to withdraw money from her bank and deposit it into a cryptocurrency machine for safekeeping.

Trusting the instructions provided to her, Peltier followed through with the transaction only to realize afterward that she had been deceived. The scammers had successfully manipulated her into transferring a significant amount of money, leaving her devastated and with no means of recourse.

Reflecting on her experience, Peltier expressed regret for not being more cautious and allowing herself to be manipulated during a vulnerable moment. Unfortunately, cases like hers are not isolated incidents, as evidenced by a victim in El Paso County who lost $99,000 to a similar scam.

The FBI has emphasized that a large portion of individuals impacted by this scam are over the age of 60 and urges the public to educate themselves and their loved ones on how to recognize and prevent falling prey to such schemes. Tips provided by the agency include avoiding clicking on suspicious links or pop-ups, refraining from sharing personal information with unfamiliar contacts, and verifying the legitimacy of any requests for funds or sensitive data.

Although Peltier’s story serves as a cautionary tale, she remains hopeful that by sharing her ordeal, others may be spared from experiencing the same financial and emotional turmoil. Moving forward, she encourages individuals to be vigilant and seek assistance from reputable sources when dealing with sensitive matters such as financial transactions.

As she continues to cope with the aftermath of her ordeal, Peltier hopes that her story will resonate with others and serve as a reminder to remain vigilant and skeptical of unsolicited requests or claims. It is a difficult lesson learned, but one that she hopes will prevent others from falling victim to scams in the future.

If you have any information about scams or consumer issues that you would like to share, you can reach out to 9NEWS Consumer Investigator Steve Staeger. Together, we can work towards raising awareness and protecting our communities from fraudulent schemes and malicious actors.

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