On July 10, 2015 the Wytheville Police Department received a report from a town citizen in regards to a phone call that was received soliciting computer repair. The citizen had in fact been having some computer issues such as programs missing from his computers desktop, and felt that the services could be helpful. The caller asked permission to take over the citizens computer remotely to run a scan on the device. Claiming that the scan would show if the computer had ever been hacked into, and what type of security was needed to prevent the computer from being hacked.
The citizen agreed to the scan and after approximately 2 hours of conversation and computer scanning the caller informed the citizen that the computer had been hacked into 8 times. The caller advised the citizen that his computer was unsafe , however for $199.00 he could provide the proper security service to his device to insure that it could not be hacked into again. The citizen was convinced that this was a legitimate company and provided the caller with credit card information to purchase the security system. However the citizen never received any type of security system for the device. There have been several attempts to contact the company and the salesman of the security system with no success, receiving either a busy signal or line disconnected notices. There is also concern that the suspect now has access to his computer and his credit card number, which he was advised to cancel to prevent further fraud. The case is still under investigation by Officer Zac Taylor.
Chief of Police Rick Arnold encourages anyone who conducts business online to ensure that it is a reputable company before conducting business with them. A good place to check on this is through the Better Business Bureau (BBB) at www.bbb.org. This site will acknowledge if the business that you are dealing with is legitimate, what their rating is and explain how to file a complaint of the deeds to warn others so they will not make the same mistake. Unfortunately, it is hard to investigate and enforce these kinds of transactions because of the easy way conduct then break off the contact with a potential victim. The Wytheville Police Department has received several calls for service regarding this type of internet crime and victims are encouraged to continue to contact the police anytime it occurs. There is always the chance that the suspect will make a mistake and we will be able to trace them down, stated Chief Arnold.