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New London Couple Bilked Out Of $14K In Phantom Hacker Scam: Report | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


A New London couple lost their life savings to a scammer, according to a report.

Feb 15, 2024 9:55 am EST | Updated Feb 15, 2024 1:00 pm EST

NEW LONDON, CT — A scammer bilked a New London couple out of $14,000, putting them near financial ruin, according to The Day of New London.

They were the victims of a “phantom hacker” scam. In these schemes, the scammer contacts a victim posing as a computer technician and falsely tells them that their computer or other electronic device has a virus or has been hacked. The scammer tells the victim that their financial accounts are at risk, according to the New Hampshire Department of Justice.

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In this case, an 80-year-old retiree received a warning on her computer alerting her to call a number and allowed a man who claimed to be from Microsoft to remote access her computer, The Day reported. Then a “bank representative” contacted her and told her she needed to withdraw all her funds and allow a government official to take them for safekeeping.

Read the full story in The Day.

The New London couple are among many who have been targeted by con artists recently. In Guilford, scammers attempted to steal $18,000 from two residents this week in a “grandparent scam.”

See related: Guilford Police Warn Residents Of ‘Grandparent Scammers’

Connecticut consumers reported losing $57.5 million to fraud and scams in 2022, compared to $40.9 million in 2021, according to the state Department of Consumer Protection.

Scammers were successful in taking larger sums from consumers in 2022. The total number of complaints declined to 18,340 from more than 21,000 in 2021, but the average consumer reported losing $670 compared to $460 a year prior, according to data from the Federal Trade Commission.

The FBI recommends people take the following steps to protect themselves from the phantom hacker scam:

  • Do not click on unsolicited pop-ups, links sent via text messages, email links, or attachments.
  • Do not contact the telephone number provided in a pop-up, text, or email.
  • Do not download software at the request of an unknown individual who contacted you.
  • Do not allow an unknown individual who contacted you to have control of your computer.
  • The US Government will never request you send money to them via wire transfer, cryptocurrency, or gift/prepaid cards.

The New London Police Department is holding an informational presentation on scams and fraud.

The event will be at St. James Episcopal Church at 76 Federal St. in New London on Saturday, March 9, from 9 to 11 a.m. Registration is required.

More information on the event is available through the New London Police Department’s Facebook page.

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