Police warn of tech support scam victimizing local residents

Bethel Park Police are warning of a tech support scam after “at least two residents were tricked into withdrawing money,” according to a department Facebook post.

In one case, an elderly woman withdrew $14,000 from a Citizens Bank branch, investigators told Channel 11.

According to the police post, victims received a pop-up on their computers claiming to be from Microsoft support.

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“The scammers convinced the victims that their computers had already been hacked and that they had lost a large sum of money and that ‘Microsoft Support’ would transfer them over a ‘secure line’ by phone to their bank to help them recover their money.” money back.” is the warning.

Over the phone, the scammers posed as bank employees and instructed the victims to go to a nearby branch and get bank checks to be mailed to them. The scammers claimed the funds would be held “in escrow” until the fraudulent transaction was stopped.

The scammers apparently advised the victims not to tell anyone about the plan and to tell the banks that the checks would be used to buy real estate.

Sharing the scam alert post, the Robinson Township Police Department wrote: “This has happened to several of our Robinson Twp. residents in the last few years.”

The reports come not long after Channel 11 reported that the FBI had detected a rise in tech support scams. In 2021, 204 people in our region were killed and collectively lost more than $4.4 million. https://www.wpxi.com/news/local/fbi-warns-public-about-increase-tech-support-scams/GX74UXZDDRE2RNMYT2SWUKXQDY/

Investigators are asking people to spread the message to elderly or vulnerable residents to protect them from falling for these scams.

Bethel Park Police add: “Always scan your computer for viruses and malware and never click on unfamiliar links or download unfamiliar email attachments. If you have any doubts about the legitimacy of a call, email, or transaction, speak to someone you trust or call our 24-hour dispatch center at 412-833-2000.”

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