THORNTON, Colo (CBS4)– When Gina Wallis’ computer was running slow, she thought there might be a problem. When a screen popped up indicating an error, she clicked “send error report”. About a week later, Wallis got a call from someone saying they were with Microsoft Windows.

“I let him remote access my computer, but when the screen came up it said ‘LogMeIn Rescue’. It didn’t say ‘Microsoft Windows’,” Wallis told CBS4.

LogMeIn Rescue is a legitimate program, but in this case hackers were using it to make a copy of Wallis’ hard drive.

“He was stealing from me with me sitting right there,” Wallis said.

The hackers had access to passwords, account information, and contacts. Wallis was watching as a green bar indicated files were being downloaded. She panicked, turned off her computer, and unplugged her router.

“As far as you know, at this point, nothing has been compromised?” 4 On Your Side Consumer Investigator Jodi Brooks asked Wallis.

“Well, we locked it down within 5 minutes of the phone call,” Wallis replied.

Wallis contacted her bank and put a hold on all her transactions. She notified the credit reporting agencies. She filed reports with the FBI, the CBI, and the Town of Frederick Police Department.

When 4 On Your Side Consumer Investigator Jodi Brooks tried to call the number that called Wallis, she got a busy signal. Brooks found hundreds of people online complaining about the same scam. A caller says he ‘works for windows’, claims your computer is sending out ‘malicious viruses’, and asks you to log on right then.

Steve Utke with Surge Computers of Highlands Ranch says there are a few things you can do to protect your computer.

“Virus and spyware checking with malware bites or an anti-virus program such as F-Secure.”

This is the kind of scam that fraud investigators are expecting to see more of during tax season. Many Americans are likely to have their tax information on their computers, so hackers are itching to get access.

The Internal Revenue Service came out with their “Dirty Dozen” ranking of tax scams. They urge tax payers to protect themselves from scammers trying to get their hands on money using one of these methods:

–Identity Theft


–Return Preparer Fraud

–Hiding Income Offshore

–‘Free Money’ from the IRS

–False/Inflated Income and Expenses

–False Form 1099 Refund Claims

–Frivolous Arguments

–Falsely Claiming Zero Wages

–Abuse of Charitable Organizations

–Disguised Corporate Ownership

–Misuse of Trusts

Wallis is working to make her computer safe again. And she wants to make sure that no one else falls for this scam.

“I’m not an idiot and if I would fall for this, I think anybody could fall for it,” she said.

–Written for the Web by CBS4 Special Projects Producer Libby Smith


Comments (8)
  1. Joel Frederick says:

    It was a good story. I still am nervous about storing passwords unencrypted on your computer, even in an “out of the way” directory.

    You might check out 1Password by AgileBits ( They have Mac, Windows, iPhone/iPad & Android apps that can share the same data.

    It allows you to generate stronger password while keeping the information on disk in encrypted form.

    The Mac & Windows versions integrate with many of the browsers to easily enter passwords.

    It can sync between devices in several different ways. Yes, it seems a little expensive but is worth it to me.

    1. Guido Anthony Tweedo (not my real name ;-) ) says:

      This sort of cold call phone nonsense goes on all the time…. My phone number is on the Federal and state NO CALL list so I know that anyone (and I mean politicians, charities and scammers) is probably wanting money. No legitimate business would cold call for fear of getting dinged by a healthy fine from the FTC.

      I have received several calls from “MICROSOFT” stating that my computer was spewing virus and malware. (Or for that matter I have received a number of calls saying that I had won a trip to some place… for a small processing fee….. yeah, right)

      While most everyone says to just hang up, * I don’*t. I usually string these folks along as long as possible and even supply them with a bogus name and even bogus credit card numbers and the like. (NEVER give out real information!!!!!!!!)

      By keeping these creeps on the phone you actually are doing a service by wasting their time and hopefully will eventually discourage their evil ways…

      Time is money!

  2. A. Graham says:

    I received a very similar call and let them get access to my computer but started to get worried so I told them I had an appointment and would call them back. A John Randy 702 583-5515 told me to call him. Of course I did not call him but a few days later they called me again and I told the caller (206 456-0661) that they were a scam and that is the last I have heard from them. I have unplugged my computer when not in use.

  3. Monte Malenke says:

    I would agree with Joel – although I would strongly recommend you should NEVER store un-encrypted passwords, bank account numbers or any type of identifying and important information on your computer or smartphone. Burying this info in a series of “junk” folders does not secure this information and it can and will be found by someone looking for it. There are many password keeper programs for PCs and MACs, as well as smart phones that store this information very securely, and can synchronize this information between your computer and your smartphone to keep it all in sync. This way, if anyone were to gain access to your computer or smartphone, they would NOT be able to gain access to your confidential information. Just Google “password keeper” or do this search on the Apple app store, or Android marketplace etc.

  4. Pam says:

    it happened to me & they tried to sell me something. I should have known better & had someone from my work’s it dept check it. I did put a credit fraud alert on & had to have my new windows software installed

  5. Nate Duehr says:

    This is not “hacking”. It’s social engineering. If you convince someone to do something dumb to their own computer, you’re not a hacker. You’re just good at convincing people that you’re someone that you really aren’t.

  6. Bev says:

    I also received a call from one of these scammers–he was going to hold on while I got in front of my computer, but I told him I didn’t have time for that, and asked for his phone number and name. He gave me the phone number 702-538-5507, which I found out later was a Las Vegas phone number, and he said his name was “James Wood”–I know he said James, but it was hard to understand him, since his accent sounded like he was from India, so I could have misunderstood the last name (that I’m sure he made up). He said the company’s name was Condo PC Care. Yeah, right–they’re probably working from a boiler room in a Vegas condo! Anyway, I’m just glad I wasn’t sitting in front of my computer when he called, or he might just have talked me into doing something stupid. I haven’t heard back from them since, but at least I know for sure now that it’s a scam (as I suspected at the time).

  7. Fernando says:

    Aapke dware hindi me software arawhre aur computer ke baare me samjhane ka tarika acha hay jo aam aadmi ki samaj me bohat asani se aata hai iske liye aapka dhanyawaad

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s