Tricky phone scam

Here’s a tricky twist on an old favorite scam. This time the crooks managed to manipulate a woman’s bank account to convince her that she owed them money.

I learned about this scam from the Maryland State Police. They say a woman was nearly conned out of $35,000 after she fell for one of the most common computer scams out there, a phone call saying that her computer virus software was about to expire. She provided bank information to the scammers who withdrew $350.

The woman had second thoughts and asked for a refund. The scammer then told the woman he’d accidentally deposited $35,000 of his company’s money into her checking account when he’d actually transferred $35,000 from her own savings account into her checking account.

The suspect told the victim he needed her to return the money in cash or he would lose his job. She was told she could pay the money back in two installments.

The woman went to her bank and took out $17,500 and packaged the money according to the scammer’s instruction by putting it in plastic and then wrapping in duct tape.

She then sent the package to an address in California via FedEx priority shipping before becoming suspicious and contacting state police.

Using the tracking information, Police contacted the FedEx fraud department. FedEx security intercepted the package prior to it being loaded on a route delivery vehicle.

The package was opened and found to contain the $17,500 sent by the victim. FedEx security conducted an audit of the California address and discovered a second suspicious package that also contained a large amount of money.

Remember, don’t fall for these crook’s scare tactics. Calls about alleged viruses, expiring software, and other computer issues are always scams. Microsoft or security companies will never call you at home.

You will never be asked to send cash, pay with wire transfer, or gift cards when dealing with a legitimate company. These crooks count on you getting scared and not thinking straight.

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