By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
Earlier this week, Crooked River Ranch resident Caroline Benson got a phone call from a “Jeff” who said he was calling to verify purchase of a $1,000 iPhone on Caroline’s Amazon account.
Benson said it wasn’t her at which point Jeff offered to help remove the fraudulent Amazon account and set up a new one.
Benson gave Jeff remote access to her computer to help her set up a new account
She could see her cursor moving around on the screen and she could tell he was doing something. He set up a new Gmail account for Catherine which is necessary for using Amazon.
Jeff tested the new account by purchasing a $100 Play Station gift card. At that point Catherine thought she was now safe.
“After we went through all of that, then a screen popped up and it was asking me to put in my security number,” Benson said. “That’s when it clicked on to me it can’t be true because social security advertises never give out your social security number or your Medicare number. I told the gentleman I wasn’t going to enter my social security number and he said it was necessary to complete the verification process,” she said. “I said ‘no’ and that’s when he got off the phone and I realized this was probably not legitimate.”
Benson then called Amazon and learned they never call account holders unless customers request contact. Amazon helped cancel the new account and told her to cancel the credit card attached to the original account.
Because the scammer had access to her computer, Amazon also recommended she cancel all other credit cards and any online banks accounts that she accessed through the computer.
“I feel very lucky that they only got me for $100,” she said. “They could have got me for a lot more.”
Benson is taking the computer in to a Mac authorized service center to be scanned for malware or spyware and be reset. She also spent time in her bank obtaining a new debit card and resetting passwords.
”My advice to people is to know that when someone calls you and they have your name and your phone number and they say they’re from a certain company does not mean they’re legitimately from that company.”