Rotterdam police investigating local computer scheme - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Rotterdam police investigating local computer scheme

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ALBANY, N.Y. - Ann Young will be the very first to admit she's not the most tech savvy person in her household.

Last July when she got a phone call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft, she fell victim to the scheme and quickly realized it was not Microsoft on the other end of the line.

Then on Tuesday morning, Ann says got a similar call.  She recorded the conversation and shared part of it with us, "My name is John and I'm calling from Microsoft's certified service," said the caller.

The caller wanted her to purchase a package in order to fix Ann's computer problems. Those packages ranged anywhere form $50 to $500.

"You can pay with a credit card," the caller told her. "We have been receiving some error messages from the computer.  I would like you to do a few things to help you with the error."

The last time Ann followed through the steps and installed software, the caller gained full access to her computer, all her files, computer drives, and her personal information along with it.

"They can put anything they want on it and they can take anything they want off of it," said Larry Zimbler, of Liberteks.

Zimbler even showed us how easy it was to do with the right software. He was able to gain access to another computer in less than five minutes.

"Anything on your machine is completely up for grabs. They are probably maintaining the connection even after they leave," said Zimbler.

Ann said, "I had to change passwords to everything so they wouldn't get my banking information."

The Rotterdam Police Department is investigating Ann's phone call, and says often the schemers are hard to pin down and they are also very difficult to prosecute since many of the phone calls come in from outside of the United States.

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