‘Immediately be suspicious:’ Police warn about new twist on computer scam

MILWAUKEE -- The offer of free money can be enticing, but it's rarely what it seems. If you follow where it leads, you'll probably end up losing money instead.

William Sosbe

William Sosbe says he's received at least 15 calls from an individual who claims to be a technician for an IT company that's closing and owes him money.

With Sosbe in the room,  Contact 6's Jenna Sachs called the number that's been reaching out to him.

Sachs: Is this the IT tech company?

Scammer: Yes.

Jenna: I think you're calling him over and over again because you're trying to scam him out of his money.

Scammer: No ma'am

No surprise to refund the money the scammers say they need one thing.

Contact 6's Jenna Sachs and William Sosbe talk to scam caller.

"They want me to give them remote access to my laptop," Sosbe revealed.

Sosbe has never given the caller access and it's a good thing he hasn't.

"It's a slightly new twist on the older version of the computer scam," explained Detective John Milotzky, Wauwatosa Police Department.

Detective John Milotzky

Detective Milotzky says once the scammer gets access to the computer a pop-up window appears. The victim enters the amount of their refund, but somehow an extra zero is added before the pop-up disappears.

"They then tell the victim, you owe us $6,300 dollars because we've processed you this $7,000 refund and that's your fault," Milotzky said.

Wauwatosa Police are investigating after a woman lost $4,000 this way. A scammer convinced her to buy pre-paid gift cards then read the card numbers over the phone.

"Any time someone is asking for payment in a gift card you should immediately be suspicious," Milotzky said.

Jim Temmer

The Better Business Bureau says any phone call offering free money is usually a scam and so is a call from someone claiming to be tech support.

"Do not ever let anybody take over your computer, that you are not initiating for tech support," advised Jim Temmer, President of the Wisconsin BBB.

"This whole thing has been fishy," Sosbe said.

Wauwatosa Police have traced the scam to an IP address in Taiwan. They say the sooner you report these scams the better the chance of getting your money back. The gift cards are often used within in a couple hours.

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