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Don't fall for this computer scam, it can be a huge headache to sort out

It's not just losing money. It's getting new bank accounts, new credit cards, and notifying just about everyone you do business with that you have been compromised.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A computer scam has resurfaced.  A WCNC viewer reached out saying he’d been a victim and this viewer is sharing his story to tell you what a headache this scam has been to get straightened out.

This Norton email scam can come in the form of a phone call too. Here's how it works. 

The person on the other end tells you your virus protection is expired and your computer is at great risk. It happened to 80-year-old “Paul.”

 “And they acted like they were from the company and that they were going to do me a big favor and fix my computer, so I let them into my computer and then they took what they wanted,” Paul said.  

RELATED: Feds seize 10 million fake N95 masks in growing COVID-19 investigation

Paul’s story is worth telling. Fortunately, he caught his mistake quickly and notified the bank and they acted quick enough to save his money, but after that? Headache after headache. New everything, including credit cards, bank account, checks. It is taking months to sort all this out, so be suspicious of people calling and emailing you.

A computer user works on their laptop.

Chuck Altmix, another WCNC viewer, got it in email form.  Altmix noticed it was odd and did his own due diligence to investigate it.

“In my case, I immediately checked all of my bank accounts to make sure nothing had been debited, and nothing had,” said Altmix.

These types of stories don’t always have a happy ending.  If you get scammed and don’t act fast enough, you can lose everything and the likelihood of getting it all back is hard because these people typically do this from other countries, far beyond the reach of law enforcement here in the United States.

RELATED: 'I was hesitant': Hundreds stolen from Charlotte man by scammer posing as woman online

Here are some tips to make sure you don’t get scammed: 

  • Slow down, don’t act fast in panic mode, that’s what they want you to do.
  • Be suspicious of anyone wanting your bank account information or access to you computer.  It’s ok to be cynical and Ask lots of questions.
  • Ask for their name and ID number with the company, then look up the number on your own and contact the company to see if the call or email you received is legitimate.
  • If you suspect an email, look for how specific it is, things like “Dear Customer” can be a red flag.
  • If you think you have fallen for a scam, contact your bank immediately and explain what you did. Also, it’s a good idea to freeze your credit for a bit to make sure no one opens up new accounts in your name.