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BEWARE: Ridgewood Residents Lose $1,600+ In 'Hacked Computer' Scam

These scams are happening too often, police say.
These scams are happening too often, police say. Photo Credit: COURTESY:

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. – Five different Ridgewood residents lost more than $1,600 combined to scammers who offered to fix "hacked" computers, said police who urged consumers not to become victims.

In each case, the victim was told that a computer was compromised but could be fixed if he or she bought Apple or iTunes gift cards and provided the seral numbers, Police Chief Jacqueline Luthcke said.

All realized it was a scam AFTER they’d been taken:

  • An Upper Boulevard man who provided access to his computer lost $500;
  • A Grove Street resident said she lost $400 after buying the cards and giving the scammer the serial numbers;
  • A Ridge Road resident said someone claiming to be a “life technician” conned him out of $300 the same way;
  • A North Van Dien Avenue woman gave up her credit card number – only to find “suspicious charges” for iTunes card purchases – after being told there was a problem with her computer;
  • A William Street resident said he lost $400 after a purported member of Apple’s fraud department claimed his Mac was hacked.

No legitimate company will ever call or email asking you to buy gift cards, Luthcke said.

Still, more and more people are becoming victims, “specifically to the scams involving computer cleaning,” which involve “payments over the phone with the use of gift cards,” the chief warned.

If anyone contacts you with such a claim, contact your local police department immediately.

DO NOT buy gift cards or part with any of your money in any way.

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