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Schuylkill County Police News

Frackville Woman Duped By Computer Pop-up Scam

Woman says “Secret Service” turned up at her home to collect cash.

A Frackville woman says she was duped by an online scam that involved a pop-up ad on her computer and an unknown perpetrator posing as Secret Service who showed up at her home to collect money.

According to information released by Frackville Borough Police Dept., a woman contacted them to report a possible fraud.

She told police that on March 29, she saw a pop-up ad on her computer alerting her to contact Microsoft to resolve a problem. The ad provided a contact phone number.

When the Frackville woman phoned the number, she was connected with a man who purportedly requested remote access to her computer. This perpetrator told the woman he had unfrozen her computer and that the situation had been resolved.

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However, the next day, the same woman received a similar message on her computer. She, again, called the number. The person on the other line told the local woman that her computer had been hacked and gave instructions on how to resolve this issue.

The woman says she was also asked personal questions during this subsequent call, like how much money she had in her bank account. After that, the person on the other line told her to take money out of her bank.

Last week, on April 3, the Frackville woman once again made contact with the purported scammer, who told her that a Secret Service agent would be at her home to pick up the cash she’d withdrawn from her bank. She was also given a password to tell this bogus agent.

At about 7:30 p.m. that night, the woman says a silver four-door sedan pulled up in front of her house and she handed a person inside the money from her account. She said the person to whom she gave the money had a beard.

No other details on the vehicle or the driver were provided to police, just that it left the scent north on S. 2nd St. in Frackville.

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Police are asking anyone with more information about this scam to call the department at 570-628-3792. They also remind the public to be vigilant against online scams such as this.

Microsoft Pop-up Tech Support Scam

This Microsoft pop-up scam is all too common, unfortunately, and this Frackville woman is not alone in falling victim to it.

Microsoft says any such message that actually comes from the company will never include a phone number

They say if your computer screen begins filling with pop-ups, such as it did in this instance, the best thing to do is close your browser. If you can’t do that with your mouse, you should hit ALT+F4 to do so. Otherwise, restart your computer.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Bob U

    April 11, 2024 at 7:14 am

    A pretty common scam, indeed. Rather than the Secret Service (dumb by the perp because if caught it means federal prison), the second perp was my bank. As a former federal computer security officer, I didn’t bite. There was no pickup to be made, but a transfer of debit card number after the card was purchased.

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