Victim Location 76051
Total money lost $17,000
Type of a scam Tech Support
On March 10th, 2018, I had a pop up come onto my screen saying my computer was infected. I was worried because I have had viruses before, so I called the number for PChelpost from the pop up and ended up getting some lifetime protection for $540. I was a little skeptical at first, but they did what I thought was some legitimate work; installed some adblocker, ccleaner (which I already had), anti-malware software and showed some things in the command prompt and files.
Starting around 5/24/18, they called from 479-595-6143 and 479-595-7472 (Fayetteville Arizona) saying the company PChelppost was going out of business and they wanted to refund the $540 dollar charge. Said they needed to remote access my computer to remove software. I told them to call in the morning before work. The next morning around 8 am on Friday 5/25/18, I answered the 479# and spoke to one person first.
I can’t remember exactly everything but soon after speaking to the first person I was transferred to someone else, Robert Wilson, sounds like a fake name since the guy sounded from india or middle east. They said to download teamviewer and anyplace control to which he got remote access. I was able to write down the IP address from the incoming remote connection which was 18.104.22.168, not sure if that is proxied or not but comes up from city of Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India. he did something in the command prompt I think. Then asked me to check my online banking to see if the refund had gone through. I was skeptical since they are remotely accessed and questioned it, but he assured me everything was okay. I signed in and saw no refund charge and signed out immediately. I had $17,000 in my savings account and around $486 in my checking account.
Then it happened so fast and I could not think straight or recall the exact course of events. I believe he saw that my user name and password was auto filled in to my browser. He said he was checking something on his side that must be done while connected to my computer. He setup a black screen on my computer from anyplace control or teamviewer so I could not see what was happening.
I started getting very skeptical. Then I checked my bank account from my phone briefly and saw that 15,000 had been transferred out of my savings account by him. I started freaking out and transferred the 15,000 back into my savings account from my phone. I started yelling at him and then he brought my screen back and he explained that they had accidentally added 15,000 to my checking account. He showed my online banking account on my screen. The 15,000 had transferred back to my savings (by me) so my savings showed a total of 17,000 (like it was before) and my checking had $15,486 instead of just 486, showing he had added money to my account. At this point my mouse was blinking fast and I had no control over the mouse. We argued intensely, and it happened so quick and unexpectedly I did not know how to react. Then he showed my savings on screen was gone to 0 and there was still 15,486 in my checking. On my bank history, it shows at one point there was 32,000 in my account which must have been when he transferred the 17,000 back out of my savings into checking and then to elsewhere. He explained my money (17,000) was transferred to an HSBC bank suspense account and that I would need to go buy Walmart gift cards totaling value of 14,000 to repay the money and then he would release my money back. He said I would still get the refund 540 plus 480 for the inconvenience, that’s why he needed 14,000 back.
I argued and was freaking out yelling then he started getting mad and showed me my account with 0 in both checking and savings. I am not sure if it was a fake screen, sort of photoshopped or if it was real because my account history did not show going to zero and then back up. He said not to go to police or bank and that if I get gift cards and read them off to him, I would get my money back. Of course, I realized this is a huge scam, but I felt I had no choice because he showed my accounts empty and this was my only hope of getting it back. He explained going to the police would still not get my money back, which i believed. He made me stay on the phone as I drove to Walmart. Made me honk my horn to prove I was driving. I told him on the phone when I got to Walmart so he added money back into my account right then. He said not to try anything like ATM or withdraw or even logging into my bank account because he would see the presence and immediately transfer money out. At the time, I believed this was possible since he had shown my money go from 32,000 to 0 nearly instantly and I do not know a lot about wire transfers or that sort of thing.
Had to stay on the phone the whole time in Walmart but told me to put phone in pocket while on speaker. At Walmart in Bedford, I bought 12 $200 gift cards with value of $2,400 and read them off to him. I still have the gift cards even though he told me to cut them and trash them. Tried buying more gift cards but I had reached my debit limit and he told me to call bank to increase it to $12,000. I called bank while in car at Walmart parking lot. He gave me a 757-578-1277 number to call afterwards and started calling me from that number. After raising my debit limit, I drove to a 2nd Walmart in grapevine. Tried buying more gift cards but card was declined still, not sure why, maybe it takes time for debit limit increase to process. At this point, he said I still owed $11,600. Then he told me to do a cashier’s check for $11,000 from my bank, said I could keep the other 600. I drove to my capital one bank in Southlake and used the information he gave me to get a check (Name: Tasfin Hossain, Routing:021000021, Account:258559706, swift: CHASUS33).
He again told me not to check my account from app or ask the bank to check account or my funds would be taken. Took the check to chase bank and deposited. Made me send pictures of check, receipt, receipt with word “nonrefundable” written on it, receipt ripped into 4 pieces, and picture ID front and back. Said they needed picture ID to withdraw the money; it was “proof” that they knew me, not sure if that was the purpose or if it was for identity theft. Then got home around 1:30 or 2 pm, and he had to remote access my computer again. He somehow added 3,000 more into my account which was apparently another mistake. He showed my screen with around 5,400 even though later my bank history never said that amount. I was furious, and he assured it was an accident and the last thing before I get my money. He said he needed to wait until the check cleared to refund my 18,600 that was owed to me (17,000 from my savings, and 1,600 for refund and inconvenience). He told me to go to bank again, so I did and withdrew 3,000. The next day on Saturday 5/26/18. He called at 9:00 am and said they had got the 11,000 from chase and that I needed to repay 3,000 in gift cards then I would get my money back from the suspense account. I went to Walmart in Hurst off precinct line and got 15 200$ gift cards payed in cash. Then read off to him and he said he was working on the refund. Eventually after me continually calling back he answered around 1:50 PM and said It should be done within an hour for processing. I check in 45 mins, 1 hr, 2 hrs, 3 hrs and there was only 550 in checking and 500 in savings. Kept calling back and he had blocked me; call says “rejected”.
To summarize, before this incident, I had 17,000 in savings and around 486 in checking.
Afterward I ended up having 500 in savings and 550 in checking. I lost around 16,500 plus the 540 for the initial PC support so total of about 17,000.
I had sent them 11,000 in a cashier’s check, 2,400 in Walmart cards first time and 3,000 in Walmart cards the second time. Value of 16,400.