NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Police are warning residents of a new kind of scam that has cropped up in New Providence in which the perpetrator put a virus on the victim's computer and then attempted to get her credit card information.
According to reports, on July 20 a resident of Charnwood Road notified police that a person called her on her house phone and identified himself as an employee with “Microsoft Windows Service Center.” The man said he was calling to advise her that her computer was sending error messages to the Windows’s Help Center.
The caller convinced the resident to allow him to connect remotely into her computer. The suspect then placed a virus on the computer and a prompt appeared that stated that she needed to enter a password to regain access to her computer. The suspect told the resident that she would have to pay $3 for a virus protector called “Windows Defender.”
The suspect asked for a credit card number and when the resident wouldn’t give it to him, he told her she wouldn’t be able to access her computer again. He then hung up. The resident told police she has not heard from him since.
Police said it is unknown at this point if the suspect stole the resident’s personal information while he was remotely connected to the computer or if the goal was to get the resident’s credit card number in order to make fraudulent charges to the card.
Police said this is the first time they have been notified of this type of scam, and they are urging residents to continue to be vigilant when giving out personal information. Scam artists attempt to make their victims feel rushed or make the matter sound urgent. For this reason, residents should take their time, gather as much information from the caller as possible including a phone number, then research what the problem is that the caller has reported to them. If a resident can not find an answer online on their own, they are encouraged to contact the police department.
If any residents are victims of fraud or encounter these types of attempts at identity theft, please contact the New Providence Police Department at 908-665-1111.