A LaPorte woman who recently purchased a new computer was the victim of a scam Saturday night, according to LaPorte Police. She told the officer she got a call on her cell phone Saturday night from a man with a foreign accent who identified himself as “Mark Williams” from Dell. The caller told her that her new computer had been hacked and said he was going to help her fix it. He reportedly told her to go to SHOWMYPC.com, which she did. The suspect confirmed the victim’s name and email address, which he already knew. Once he did this, he then had remote access over her computer and she was not longer controlling it.
The suspect brought up an 8-digit number which he had the victim read back. He advised her that 80 percent of her computer had been hacked, but he was able to fix it for the next 15 years. He then told her she now had to pay him $99 for the service. The victim became suspicious and told him she was not paying him any money at this time and would call him back. The suspect was reportedly insistent that the victim pay him immediately. His name, ID number and telephone number were listed in a message box on the computer screen. The victim confirmed this information with him before she hung up, but when she called the number back she reached a sex hotline. She then called the Dell computer hotline and told them what had happened. A Dell representative told her she had been the victim of a scam, and her new computer had been compromised by what was most likely an international scam. Dell promised to send her a new computer at no cost and told her to call the police. She was also advised to contact her banking institutions to notify them of the incident and to contact the three major credit reporting bureaus to establish identity theft protection.
Police stress you should never give out personal information over the telephone or allow anyone access to your computer or records. Additionally, always be wary of unsolicited contacts over the telephone, on your computer or door-to-door. Also, before agreeing to ANY transaction always ask for ID and contact the company the subject claims to be affiliated with at a legitimate telephone number you have researched to confirm the identity of the person with whom you are dealing.