I’m embarrassed to admit that I was scammed by a tech support scammer for over a year. I’m sharing my story in hopes that others will learn from my mistakes.
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I’m a tech journalist, and I’ve written about scams before. I thought I was immune to them. But then I met James.
James is a tech scammer For over a year, he managed to fool me into thinking he was a legitimate businessman. He scammed me out of thousands of dollars, and he almost ruined my life.
In this article, I’m going to tell you my story. I hope that by sharing my experience, I can help others avoid the same fate.
The First Scam
It was early 2016, and I had just started my first job out of college. I was working as a tech support specialist for a large corporation. It was a dream come true for me. I loved working with computers, and I loved helping people.
One day, I got a call from a man who said his name was John. He told me that he was having some trouble with his computer. I asked him what the problem was, and he said he didn’t know. He said his son had set it up for him, and he didn’t know how to use it.
I told him that I would be happy to help him, and he said that would be great. We spent the next hour on the phone, and I walked him through some basics on how to use his computer. He was very grateful, and he said he would call me if he had any more problems.
A few weeks later, John called me again. He said his computer was acting strange, and he thought there might be a virus. I told him to bring it into the store, and I would take a look at it.
When John brought his computer into the store, I could immediately tell that something wasn’t right. His computer wasn’t just slow; it was practically unusable. It took me hours to clean up the mess his son had made of it.
When I was finished, I asked John how his son had gotten his hands on such a mess of a machine. He told me that his son had bought it from someone online. I asked him if he knew who the seller was, but he didn’t have any information on the person other than a name: Steve Jobs.”
The Second Scam
Iwas happy to report last week that I had finally escaped the grips of a tech support scammer who had been charging me $99 per month for over a year to “fix” my computer. But it turns out that was only the beginning of my ordeal.
Just a few days after I published my story, I received an email from someone claiming to be from the Federal Trade Commission. They said they had read my story and were investigating the company that had scammed me. They asked if I would be willing to testify in court against the company, and I said yes.
Then, a few days later, I got a call from someone claiming to be from the FBI. They said they were also investigating the company and asked if I would be willing to testify in court against them. Again, I said yes.
A few days after that, I got another call, this time from someone claiming to be from the Department of Justice. They, too, were investigating the company and asked if I would be willing to testify in court against them. This time, I hesitated before saying yes.
It was at this point that I realized something was fishy. The FTC, FBI, and DOJ are all real organizations, but it seemed highly unlikely that they would all be investigating the same case and all trying to get me to testify in court. So I did some digging and found out that there is a scam where scammers pose as officials from these organizations in order to get people to give them money or personal information.
If you get a call from someone claiming to be from one of these organizations asking for money or personal information, hang up immediately! This is a scam!
I’m not a tech expert. I’m not even that good with computers. So when a tech scammer convinced me to give him remote access to my computer, I didn’t know any better. For over a year, he took advantage of me. He would call me every few weeks, “fixing” problems that he created. I had no idea I was being scammed – until I finally caught on. Here’s my story.
The Financial Loss
It all started with a simple Facebook message. A friend of mine, who I’ll call Alex, messaged me out of the blue one day, asking if I wanted to make some quick and easy money. Intrigued, I asked him for more details.
Alex told me that he’d been working with a company that needed people to help test their software. He said the work was very simple — all I had to do was download a program and run it on my computer while following some basic instructions. And for my trouble, I would be paid $500 per week.
The pay sounded too good to be true, but Alex assured me that it was all above board. He even put me in touch with the “recruiter” he’d been working with, who gave me even more details about the job. Everything seemed legitimate, so I decided to give it a try.
I soon found out that the “job” was nothing more than a scam to get my money. The software I was told to download was actually a virus that gave the scammers remote access to my computer. And once they had access, they began draining my bank account, stealing my personal information, and running up huge bills in my name.
In total, I lost over $20,000 to these scammers — money that I desperately needed and could not afford to lose. Thankfully, I was eventually able to get my bank account refunded and nullify most of the fraudulent charges. But the experience has left me shaken and far more careful about who I talk to online.
The Emotional Toll
It’s been almost two years since I was scammed, and I’m still not over it. I still have days where I’m consumed by thoughts of what could have been. I replay the events over and over in my head, looking for clues that I missed, for something — anything — that could have tipped me off to the fact that I was being scammed.
In conclusion, I was scammed by a tech support scammer for over a year. I lost thousands of dollars and my personal information was compromised. I am sharing my story in the hopes that others will learn from my experience and avoid becoming victims of these scams.