Marjorie Plitzko said she was trying to do a little online shopping Monday, when she received a pop-up window.
“Spyware alert, notification. Call this number right away or your computer will be deactivated, and I call that number,” explains Plitzko.
Plitzko, 66, says the next thing she knew, her screen was locked.
“He was in my computer and was able to circle things and he says, ‘You see this? You see this?’ bringing different screens up to me.”
Tech expert Tom Jelneck says she unwittingly gave remote access to the hackers.
“As soon as they click that button, it opens a doorway directly to these hackers.”
Once they were in control, Marjorie says the bad guys started asking for money.
“You need to purchase a Google Play card for $199.”
When she got back from the store, she says the hackers told her she needed to go back and get another gift card, because the first one didn’t work.
“We’re going to credit you that $199, but in the meantime you need to get two cards for $100 each.”
Marjorie said she followed through again and lost $400. When the hackers asked for another $500, she called police. Jelneck says this scam has been going around.
“They can lockdown and encrypt all of your files. They can get access to any password files. I mean it’s evil, and it’s happening to so many people,” he says.
Now, Jelneck says the retired teacher of 22 years is the one who needs to get schooled.
“We really have to teach our grandparents... to be skeptical of things and always be on guard.”
Plitzko says she’s fighting the charges as fraud on her credit card.