Madison woman's accounts wiped out by scammer posing as computer - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Madison woman's accounts wiped out by scammer posing as computer tech

(Source: WAFF 48 News) (Source: WAFF 48 News)
(Source: WAFF 48 News) (Source: WAFF 48 News)
(Source: WAFF 48 News) (Source: WAFF 48 News)
MADISON, AL (WAFF) -

A Madison woman's bank account was the target of a convincing con artist.

Jennifer Allen says the scammer had just enough information about her to make it sound legitimate, and now she's devastated.

Allen got a call on Friday from a man claiming to be a representative from HP saying her computer repair program had expired. She has an HP laptop, and had a repair program, so no red flags were raised by the call.

“I believed it was a legitimate call from the HP representative,” said Allen.

The caller said he was going to give her a free repair package.

[READ MORE: Tips to keep you safe from scammers during the holidays]

“He somehow was able to get into my banking account, which I did not give him any information for, and he put in a dollar amount for the package," Allen explained. "Then he went on to say that he hit the wrong keys by mistake and that he needed the money back. Then he told me that for my patience, he was going to offer me another dollar amount. And he said he entered that wrong too and he needed that money back."

She disputed what he was doing, but the fake HP rep assured her repeatedly that he would not touch any of the funds in her account.

“He said that the only way that they could get their money back was for me to go to the store and buy the iTunes cards equivalent to the amount of money that he had put in my account by mistake, which I did,” she stated.

When she got home, the scammer accessed the camera on her computer and had her scratch off the amounts of the iTunes cards so he could take photos.

“He assured me still that my account was still there, that nothing would be taken,” Allen said.

The next morning, she got up and got on her computer, and found that several thousand dollars were missing from her accounts.

Allen says she can’t believe she fell for the scheme because she is always listening for scam alerts on the news.

“I know the scam stories, but because he assured me that he was an HP representative and I do have an HP laptop, I thought the call was legitimate. It did not dawn on me that he was having me to go buy these iTunes cards. I thought that was the legitimate way that he would get his money refunded and not bother my funds that were already in my account,” she revealed.

Now she doesn't know what she will do for Christmas.

“I'm a senior citizen. I live alone. I'm retired. This is devastating because he wiped out the few dollars that I had managed to save, and also my checking account,” Allen added.

Now she’s working with her bank to have all new accounts made and she's had her computer hard drive wiped clean. She also reported the theft to Madison Police and says in the future she won't be answering phone calls from any unfamiliar numbers. The scammer called her from a New York area code.

She tried calling him back when she realized what happened, but she got a dial tone.

“Now I just want to warn people that this could happen to the best of us. He zoned in on me having an HP laptop so from there, I thought I was doing the right thing, especially when he assured me that he would not bother the funds in my account,” Allen stated. “How he accessed my account, I have no idea. I did not give him my account number or any information so apparently the computer was already hacked to begin with.”

She stressed that anyone can fall prey to hackers and scammers.

“It's not just the elderly, this can happen to anyone because they zone in on something they know you already have need of and they go in for the kill. I am a little embarrassed by this interview, but if it can help the next person not to be taken advantage of then the story is worth it,” she added. 

Redstone Federal Credit Union provided some helpful tips: 

  • Do not let anyone remote your computer. If you having problems with it, take it to a reputable company locally.
  • Do not log into your online banking if other people can see you do so.
  • Anytime someone asks you to purchase gift cards to pay for anything, it is likely a scam.
  • Confirm where funds came from before you spend them. If you have any questions, contact your financial institution to assist you in verifying the funds.

An online account has been set up to help Jennifer Allen. If you would like to make a contribution, click here. 

Copyright 2017 WAFF. All rights reserved.

Report an Error | Submit a Tip to WAFF 48

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Woman calls cops on man trying to get into his own car

    Woman calls cops on man trying to get into his own car

    Saturday, August 18 2018 9:03 AM EDT2018-08-18 13:03:15 GMT

    Corvontae Davis, a black man, was putting money into a parking meter when he was confronted by a white woman. 

    More >>

    Corvontae Davis, a black man, was putting money into a parking meter when he was confronted by a white woman. 

    More >>
  • Officials investigate cause of death for Colorado mom, kids

    Officials investigate cause of death for Colorado mom, kids

    Friday, August 17 2018 2:14 AM EDT2018-08-17 06:14:36 GMT
    Saturday, August 18 2018 9:42 AM EDT2018-08-18 13:42:41 GMT
    (The Colorado Bureau of Investigation via AP). This photo combo of images provided by The Colorado Bureau of Investigation shows, from left, Bella Watts, Celeste Watts and Shanann Watts.  The Frederick Police Department said Chris Watts was taken into ...(The Colorado Bureau of Investigation via AP). This photo combo of images provided by The Colorado Bureau of Investigation shows, from left, Bella Watts, Celeste Watts and Shanann Watts. The Frederick Police Department said Chris Watts was taken into ...

    Shanann Watts' Facebook page painted a portrait of a happy married life - of a woman dedicated to her husband and their two young children.

    More >>

    Shanann Watts' Facebook page painted a portrait of a happy married life - of a woman dedicated to her husband and their two young children.

    More >>
  • The Latest: Lawyer says girls' bodies were submerged in oil

    The Latest: Lawyer says girls' bodies were submerged in oil

    Friday, August 17 2018 8:50 PM EDT2018-08-18 00:50:24 GMT
    Saturday, August 18 2018 9:18 AM EDT2018-08-18 13:18:41 GMT
    (The Colorado Bureau of Investigation via AP). This photo combo of images provided by The Colorado Bureau of Investigation shows, from left, Bella Watts, Celeste Watts and Shanann Watts.  The Frederick Police Department said Chris Watts was taken into ...(The Colorado Bureau of Investigation via AP). This photo combo of images provided by The Colorado Bureau of Investigation shows, from left, Bella Watts, Celeste Watts and Shanann Watts. The Frederick Police Department said Chris Watts was taken into ...
    A lawyer for a Colorado man suspected in the deaths of his pregnant wife and two young daughters says the daughters' bodies were submerged in crude oil for four days before they were found.More >>
    A lawyer for a Colorado man suspected in the deaths of his pregnant wife and two young daughters says the daughters' bodies were submerged in crude oil for four days before they were found.More >>
  • NewsMore>>

  • Italian leader demands safe roads; bridge toll rises to 42

    Italian leader demands safe roads; bridge toll rises to 42

    Saturday, August 18 2018 4:10 AM EDT2018-08-18 08:10:33 GMT
    Saturday, August 18 2018 10:19 AM EDT2018-08-18 14:19:06 GMT
    (Luca Zennaro/ANSA via AP). Firefighters remove debris of the collapsed Morandi highway bridge in Genoa, Italy, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. Italian authorities have lowered the death to 38 from 39 in the collapse of a highway bridge in Genoa. Genoa Prefec...(Luca Zennaro/ANSA via AP). Firefighters remove debris of the collapsed Morandi highway bridge in Genoa, Italy, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. Italian authorities have lowered the death to 38 from 39 in the collapse of a highway bridge in Genoa. Genoa Prefec...

    Italian media say three more bodies have been found in the rubble of the Genoa bridge collapse, raising the death toll to 41.

    More >>

    Italian media say three more bodies have been found in the rubble of the Genoa bridge collapse, raising the death toll to 41.

    More >>
  • Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan dies at age 80

    Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan dies at age 80

    Saturday, August 18 2018 6:00 AM EDT2018-08-18 10:00:29 GMT
    Saturday, August 18 2018 10:18 AM EDT2018-08-18 14:18:45 GMT
    Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has died at the age of 80. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has died at the age of 80. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

    Kofi Annan, one of the world's most celebrated diplomats and a charismatic symbol of the United Nations who rose through its ranks to become the first black African secretary-general, has died.

    More >>

    Kofi Annan, one of the world's most celebrated diplomats and a charismatic symbol of the United Nations who rose through its ranks to become the first black African secretary-general, has died.

    More >>
  • Aretha Franklin's funeral set for Aug. 31 in Detroit

    Aretha Franklin's funeral set for Aug. 31 in Detroit

    Friday, August 17 2018 4:27 PM EDT2018-08-17 20:27:23 GMT
    Saturday, August 18 2018 10:06 AM EDT2018-08-18 14:06:02 GMT
    (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File). FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2006 file photo, Aretha Franklin and Dr. John, background on piano, perform the national anthem before the Super Bowl XL football game in Detroit. Franklin died Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018 at her home...(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File). FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2006 file photo, Aretha Franklin and Dr. John, background on piano, perform the national anthem before the Super Bowl XL football game in Detroit. Franklin died Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018 at her home...
    Aretha Franklin's funeral will be held Aug. 30 in her hometown of Detroit.More >>
    Aretha Franklin's funeral will be held Aug. 30 in her hometown of Detroit.More >>
Powered by Frankly