COLUMBUS, Ga. — Technology Unlimited on Airport Thruway wants folks to be on the lookout for a computer scam that they have seen an influx of customers coming into their store for.
Owners Justin and Julie Heath said that scammers are calling random people and telling them their computer needs repairs. The victim provides the scammer the information to access their computer remotely. In some cases, advertisements will pop up and when the person clicks on it, a message will come up saying there is an issue with the computer and to call a specific number to remedy the problem.
They said when people call the number, the scammer will ask for the information to gain access to the computer. Once they gain access, they will hold the computer’s information hostage, and requiring the victim to purchase a gift card to release the computer’s information.
After they provide the scammer the gift card information, they will not turn the information back over to the victim and will lock them out of the computer.
“It’s very heartbreaking,” Julie Heath said. “Especially, when you have the elderly that live on a fixed income and they come in and tell us that they spent their $100 buying a gift card to pay a scammer. It’s heartbreaking because it could be my mother, grandmother paying their last $100. Our business has picked up because of it, but for us, it not about that. It’s about helping the hardworking people and the elderly.”
Heath said that computer companies will not contact you directly, and that if you receive one of those pop-up messages, shut the computer down. They also add that if you receive one of these phone calls, hang up immediately.