POLK COUNTY, Fla. -- Deputies from the Polk County Sheriff's Office are warning citizens about a scam involving computer tech and repairs.
Some victims have already lost up to $15,000.
The scams start with someone speaking with victims by phone. The scammer tells the victim they're eligible for a refund from a notable computer and tech company such as Microsoft. The victim gives the scammer access to their computer, and from there the scammer can access the victim's bank accounts.
Told the refund can be up to $600, the victim will see the bank account increase. The victim doesn't realize the money is coming from another one of their accounts.
The increase is more than the total refund, and the scammer will say they put too much of a refund in the account and become panicked. The scammer's goal is to convince the victim to purchase gift cards to now refund the scammer.
So far, victims in Polk County include a 71-year-old Winter Haven woman who lost $4,000, a 69-year-old Lakeland woman who lost $15,000, a 67-year-old Winter Haven woman who reported she lost $6,000, and a couple in Lake Wales who lost $1,200.
"When it comes to your personal information, it is important to be prudent with who you allow to access it," said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. "Know exactly who you are dealing with before going forward and doing any business with them."
Anybody who suspects they are being targeted by a scammer is told to ask the person for their name and contact information and let them know they can get back to them.
PCSO also said to try to Google the scenario to see if it comes up as a scam, or go to FBI.gov and USA.gov to look up current scams.
"At the risk of sounding trite, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is," Judd adds.
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