“Ammyy” scam allows others to take control of your computer

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A man was shut out of his own computer -- and only after he paid big bucks could he get back in! FOX6's Contact 6 says it's a scam that is holding people hostage in their own homes!

Mark Snyder answered a phone call from a man he didn't know, and it cost him a lot of money.

"Actually, I was on the computer when he called me.  He said 'is your computer on?' And I said 'yes.'  And he said 'I want to show you something,'" Snyder said.

Snyder says the man asked him to enter two passwords onto a website called "Ammyy." It is a software company selling a program that lets you take over a computer from another location.

"He actually had control of my mouse.  He was moving it around.  I kept trying to click out of it and he kept moving it away.  So I couldn't get out of it," Snyder said.

The man on the phone said Snyder's computer was infected with viruses, and for $269 he could clean it up.

"I had to send the check to a Frank Snyder.  And then I was supposed to tell Western Union that it was just a friend that I was sending it to," Snyder said.

Snyder sent the money, but soon realized he had been scammed.

"I'm on disability.  I don't get very much money, and $270 is a lot for me," Snyder said.

When the man called back asking for an additional $269 for more cleaning, Snyder said "no."

"He said 'if you don't give me that $269 I'm going to shut your computer down.' And I said 'I'm not giving it to you.' Sure enough, he shut my computer down. It just went blank," Snyder said.

Snyder eventually got his computer cleaned by a local professional like Debbie Dietzel, who says she sees a lot of these types of scams popping up lately.

"They're being called, sometimes they're being emailed.  And more ominously, more recently, they're getting a pop-up on their computer asking to update software.  And all of these three ways are opening up their computers to fraud and scams," Dietzel said.

It is a scam the Better Business Bureau has issued warnings about as well.

"Don't give them any information about your computer - the type of it, any passwords, never give them any personal information," Ran Hoth with the BBB said.

The Ammyy website has issued a warning about this kind of scam.

Contact 6 says to remember that no matter how official the company name sounds, no legitimate business would call about viruses on your computer, or to take control of it.

10 comments

  • Autumn

    I just got a call from a call center in India saying he knew that I had an infected computer; said he was representing Windows and he wanted to help me clean up my computer. Immediately I distrusted him, could barely understand a word; but went along out of curiosity. First he directed me to see that my computer had error messages and warning signs; said that it was due to a virus picked up by emails. He then connected me to someone else (undoubtedly higher up) who directed me to ammyy.com. When I saw that he wanted me to remotely connect to them I knew that they were attempting to take control of my computer: I hung up. It’s a shame that they are taking advantage of people that don’t understand what can happen. Luckily I knew.

  • Carl A. Helsing

    Scammed–lost $99.00—-dollar politic social disruption expert—(Indian “sounding” voice—India must be new on the list—(they now own the steel company I used to work for here in Indiana–previously Inland steel–East Chicago)–I keep trying to blame thing’s like this on a lost UFO’s data transmission,but I don’t know how long that’s going to work–
    beside’s,they might not even know what money is—

  • red esquid

    Got the call this morning ( 1/16/2014) – I just installed windows 8.1 AND It hosed my wifi driver, so there was – very remotely – the thought that the call might be legit. Like MS cares enough to actually try to fix it for you ….
    But with the crappy Win 8.1 update, I’m not surprised that this might work, lots of folks probably discovering that the PC is screwed up.
    Worked him around for 20 minutes, and then played a video of someone in the scam – it was MY CALLERS VOICE! Cool! put the phone up to the speaker and asked if that was him.
    Unfortunately, he hung up – I wanted to ask where he was and how often the “fix” worked….

  • beverly

    yeah i think i had this hapon to me but they wanted me to use team viewer i already had it on my pc because i use it to help my aunt with her pc and i also use it to get a freind to help me with mine ok well i let them in i should haveknown somthing was up because microfot dose not use temvierwer they use log me in ANY WHO they wanted me to pay $40 for them to fix my pc after saying i had a viruse well i get mad at them start yelling at them telling them i can fix my own pc i am not paying someone els to do it and am not paying for anything and after what seemed like a hour on the phone trying to understand him he hung up on me after saying fine fix your own pc ANY WHO anyone who has used team viewer knmows your screen gose black well i closed it and my pc started messing up i think they put a virus on my pc!!

  • Dorothy

    They called me today. I told them that I was busy and hung up, Then I looked up your web site, and when they called me back, I told them that they were a scam. They denied it but I just hung up,

  • Jim

    Hi! Unfortunately this morning I fell into the AAMMYY trap. A little bleary, I let them into my PC till they started about ‘fees’. I cut contact off right away, now have to see what trouble I’ve gotten myself Into.

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