Local woman feels fortunate not to have been victim of scam

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GORDON – A Gordon/Barrie Island Township woman is feeling fortunate that she wasn’t the victim of a scam after a recent encounter with a scammer involving supposed problems on her computer.

“Luckily my computer didn’t accept my credit card number when I was trying to send money to the scammer to fix our computer,” Heather Leigh told the Recorder this past Saturday. 

“I’ll know better next time,” she told the Recorder, noting, “it all appeared to be so legitimate. It was my fault, I had no anti-virus program on our computer, which is new.”

Ms. Leigh’s husband Paul had noticed one morning last week a message on the computer screen, ‘virus attack.’ “The computer screen was red and had a warning on it that the computer had been compromised and to call a number on the screen for help,” stated Ms. Leigh. “It also said to not delete the message or cancel it because it might damage the computer.”

Ms. Leigh called the number on the computer screen and was on the phone for about a half an hour with a man who had answered her call. “I was talking to the man and he was trying to sell me a fire wall, which would cost $600 plus Canadian and he wanted my credit card number. I know they are expensive but not that expensive. I could barely understand him, he had a very heavy foreign accent, but used the name Bill. He wanted me to approve the charge to fix the computer, going through my credit card. Normally if I use a credit card on the computer it accepts the charge, but this time the computer didn’t accept it.” 

Feeling uneasy at this time that this might be a scam call, she called her bank to tell them not to authorize any payments on her credit card. “The man called back several times after the initial call but we didn’t answer,” she told the Recorder.
“Then the computer screen went totally blank, I couldn’t turn it on or off. I couldn’t do anything,” said Mr. Leigh. The couple then called computer repair man Nicholas Lane of Gore Bay to look at the computer, which was only about a month old.

“When I talked to Nick (Lane) he confirmed that it was a scam,” continued Ms. Leigh. “If it happens again, he showed me how to fix the problem.” 

“I’m glad I had the nerve to call my bank, even though the charge never went through on the computer,” continued Ms. Leigh. “I was very lucky. I don’t know why the computer wouldn’t accept my charge and credit card number. I’ll know better next time. It looked so legitimate.”