Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane today warned Commonwealth residents of a recent computer repair telephone scam.
The scam, first reported in Fayette Co., starts with a call from a person with a heavy accent who claims the recipient of the call is in need of a computer update or repair. The caller instructs the person to wire money to pay for the work, but no update or repair work is actually needed. In one reported case, a senior citizen who did not even own a computer was a target of this scam.
The caller in some cases has stated he is calling from Los Angeles, according to information reported to the Office of Attorney General. Some of these scam calls also have reportedly originated from a phone with a 509 area code — which traces to the state of Washington — but it is possible the scammers are using the practice of "caller ID spoofing."
According to the AG’s office, this allows callers to deliberately falsify the telephone number and/or name relayed on a person's caller ID. In some cases, these calls may actually originate from out of the country.
Attorney General Kane offered the following tips to help prevent consumers from becoming victims of telephone scams:
Consumers may file a complaint regarding the computer repair scam or other phone scams by calling the Office of Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer Protection's toll-free helpline number at 1-800-441-2555.