28 Jul Esq. Jonathan Cartu Claims – WV AG warns of computer virus scam | News
CHARLESTON — A voicemail scam has been reported by many West Virginia residents who have received calls from a scammer alleging they need payment for an anti-virus program or to remove a virus from the residents’ computers.
According to West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, his office has received more than 100 calls from consumers reporting the scam. Consumers report having received voicemails from someone posing as being with a major technology company in which the caller asks for a payment of up to $399 for antivirus software the consumer had allegedly purchased.
The calls are often from a robotic voice using the phrasing of: “This is to inform you that we have renewed your antivirus security for the upcoming one year and we have charged you $399 and in 24 hours you will see a charge from [company]. If you want to cancel and want a refund, then please call on this number: 1-213-822-7257. Cancellation should be done within the 48 hours upon receiving this cancellation call. Thank you. This is Harris Parker, customer relationship manager.”
When the call is returned, a person claiming to represent the nationally known tech company answers and urges the consumer to make payment via credit card, gift card or by providing their bank information. The impostor may also ask to gain access to the caller’s computer, if payment is refused, claiming they need to uninstall the virus repair program.
“Consumers should use caution whenever they receive a suspicious call like this, particularly if they don’t have a prior relationship with the company in question,” Morrisey said. “Look for red flags such as a machine-generated voice, unusual word choices or improper grammar. Most importantly, never hand money over to a scammer or allow them to hack your computer and cause havoc.”
Similar scams of someone calling and offering to remove an alleged virus from the consumer’s computer in exchange for payment have also been reported.
Morrisey said in each instance, the scammers may use a tactic called “spoofing” to change their phone number to make it appear they are calling from a legitimate source.
One person received a scam call without even owning a computer and another sent the scammers $1,000 in gift cards.
Morrisey urges consumers to contact the company’s customer service or billing phone number, found on its website, directly to confirm the validity of any voicemail.
Anyone who believes they are a victim of this or any other scam can call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808 or visit the office online at wvago.gov.