Victims of 'computer virus' scam get money back

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A lucky break for three elderly widows in Coweta County who authorities said were scammed out of their life savings in a computer fraud scheme. Investigators told FOX 5 News they were able to return most of the money that the computer thieves stole when they took over the victims’ computers.

Investigators who deal with financial fraud said often times even if the make an arrest in a case, they are almost never able to return a victim’s lost money. In these three cases, it was a substantial amount of money, about $100,000.

Investigator Mark Callahan of the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office said each of the three victims got a pop-up ad on their computer screens warning them their computer was infected with a virus. They clicked on the bait, as they call it, and offered to pay a company to remove the virus. The thieves literally took over the victims’ computers and started to remove money from their bank accounts.

Three elderly victims lost their entire life savings. The good news is that investigators were able to get most of the money back.

Anyone who gets a pop-up add warning about a virus, authorities said to ignore it. They said these adds can look convincing. At the very least, call a reputable tech company to help. Also, if someone ever asks to withdraw funds from an account to deposit the money in their account for whatever reason, that also is a red flag.