The Lake County sheriff’s office is warning residents of a rise in phone and computer-based scams targeting residents of the suburban community.
Scammers are calling residents, claiming to be computer repair companies who “accidentally” deposited money into the person’s bank account, the Lake County sheriff’s office said. They then ask them to return the money by purchasing a gift card.
In other instances, the scammer will convince the person to download a computer program that gives them access to the person’s private data, the sheriff’s office said.
The scammer then tells the person to log into their online bank accounts while they transfer funds from the person’s savings account to a checking account, labeling the transfer as the name of a phone or computer repair company.
The scammer then says that the money was “accidentally” deposited into their account and the only way to repay them is by buying a large sum of gift cards, often from Walmart or Target, police said.
Residents should remain suspicious of people calling to get money from them and remember that legitimate companies and government agencies are not paid with gift cards, police said. Police are also reminding residents not to be persuaded to download unknown computer software.