Pop-up scam makes rounds in Lee County

Posted at 6:56 PM, Apr 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-04 18:56:40-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- Lee County Sheriff's Office took to Facebook, Monday, to warn computer users of a pop-up scam that could cost people hundreds.

The warning came after several victims called with complaints. "We've had a lot of people call. Just last week alone, between the IRS scam and computer pop-up, we've had over 250 calls to our fraud line," said Stacey Payne, the Director of Communication Relations for Lee County Sheriff's Office.

Computer users like Jane Zingaro said the scams seem to come out of nowhere. "Well it's scary because you're sitting there, typing something away, and something pops up and these people or somebody somewhere tells you that someone hacked into your bank account," she said. "They want your information so they can correct it."

This sounded familiar to the experts at PC Support Group in Cape Coral. They said the scam manifests itself in a pop-up window, stating something is wrong. "They will ultimately ask you to gain control of the machine to clean it for you and at that point in time, at some point along the way, they'll ask you to pay," said owner Joseph Rodrigues.

Some have been asked to pay up to $400. According to Rodrigues, some pop-up scams will have a timer counting down until your computer supposedly locks up. "In some cases, it doesn't lock it and in some cases, it can lock the machine," he said.

However, LSCO said the latest scam making rounds does not lock your computer. That is still enough to cause concern for people like Georgette. "I'm very worried about it," she said. People have to be really careful and have common sense about answering questions on the computer."