Phone scam targeting Amarillo residents - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Phone scam targeting Amarillo residents

Posted: Updated:

AMARILLO, Texas----A new type of phone scam is targeting Amarillo residents.

"When I realized I had been scammed I was just about to come unglued," Amarillo resident Raydell Palmer said.

This phone scam is targeting anyone with a home computer.

"We're getting calls about people receiving phone calls saying that the caller is with Microsoft or a company that works for Microsoft and they need access to your computer in order to clean off a virus that you might have," Better Business Bureau CEO Janna Kiehl said.

It's a story Palmer remembers as if it happened yesterday.

"The phone rang and the man said 'Hello Miss Palmer, this is the computer command office and we have trouble on your computer and we need to check this out.' Palmer said.

The caller instructed her to complete a task on the computer to fix the "bogus" problem.

Little did she know, they were setting up a situation where all her files including passwords and banking information would now be visible to the scammers.

If that wasn't bad enough, the caller then collected her credit card information to sell her virus protection software she never received.

"I've seen people on TV that have been scammed and I always ask myself how in the world could they have fallen for that and I ended up falling for it," she said.

Sgt. Brent Barbee with the Amarillo Police Department says scams like this are increasingly common.

However, there are red flags you should look out for.

"A company like Microsoft or your bank will never call you and ask you for information relating to your account number or pin number," Barbee said.

And tracking down those con artists' can be difficult because many set up shop outside the U.S.

Amarillo Police investigate all cases regarding scams but say the investigation process can be long and lengthy because the operator or caller is operate out of their jurisdiction.

All cases of phone scams should also be reported to the Better Business Bureau immediately.

You can reach the Better Business Bureau via telephone by calling 379-6222.

You can visit them on the web at www.bbb.org.