Local woman nearly falls victim to scammer

Sheriff: Never give out personal information
Scott Seitz2
Jan 23, 2014


If there is the slightest doubt in your mind, never provide personal information over the phone or via the Internet.

Huron County Sheriff Dane Howard reminds residents of this very thing after a recent incident involving a Norwalk woman, who nearly fell victim to a scammer.

The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said she received a telephone call from a man claiming he was from "Microsoft."

The man told the woman her computer was infected with viruses and would crash within three days, causing her to lose all the information stored on it.

The man requested remote access to the computer and a credit-card number.

The woman initially gave the "scammer" remote access to the computer, but then called her own computer technician who advised her to immediately shutdown her computer which she did.

The "scammer" claimed he was from Indiana, but later research indicated he may have been calling from India.

After the call ended, the woman called her bank and canceled all her credit cards and believes she avoided losing any money.

"It's been a rough week," she said.

"I want to tell folks to never give out your information if you don't know who you are dealing with," the sheriff said.

"And, don't rely on the information from you caller I.D," Howard added. "Scammers have the technology to show the call is coming from a bank, but the call could be coming from anyone.

"Even if you get a call from your financial institution, call them back," he said.

"The vast majority of these calls come from Canada, with a link to Uganda and also other places in Africa," the sheriff said.

Howard said never surrender remote access of your computer.

"These are very significant crimes," he added.

That are nearly impossible to prosecute.

"We've worked with the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) in the past and there's no real way to prosecute these individuals," Howard said. "We have no jurisdiction and the victims are never vindicated."

The sheriff said this isn't the only ongoing scam.

"Another scams involves senior citizens, where the scammers quick-talk the victim on the phone," he said. "They might say they are stranded in St. Louis and send $700. They play on their heart strings.

"You need to be very cautious and call authorities," Howard said.



I've had several calls exactly like that. I listened for about two seconds and hung up on him.


This lady sounds foolish and naive. No excuse, unless she's elderly


This is an OLD scam that has recently been reinvented. They use spoofed numbers and never have the same number twice. NEVER allow anyone to have remote access to your computer. They call my house often enough I mess with them. Start asking them questions, it is fun to get them flustered. My new goal is to get them to hang up on me!


I don't trust anybody. I had the bank call me because I missed a truck payment (oops) and they asked for checking acct info. I told them I'd check my records because I thought I'd sent the payment out and then call them back using the number on my payment stubs. They probably thought I wouldn't call back but I wasn't going to give them my info. Better to be safe than sorry if there's any doubt.


The IRS called me last year about taxes not paid. I told them I had the return in my hand. They asked for my SS#. I asked if they were really the IRS because I don't think anyone is that stupid to give a SS# over the phone. They then asked me different info that co berated with what they wanted. We did not have the same info. I hung up and called the closest IRS and they said the call was legit and didn't know why the other office asked for my SS#. Everything was cool, but trust NO-ONE.


I have had several of these calls lately. 3 times in one day. They give American names ie: John , Brian .... they clearly have an Indian or other type of accent.

I tell them I don't have a computer. Or hang up.


Works for me.


This one time, at band camp, I got a call from a scammer. I hung up on him after I gave him my SSN and credit card numbers.