Woburn police warn of rise in computer and phone scams

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WOBURN — Woburn Police Department is alerting the public to a series of sophisticated scams targeting individuals via phone and computer, with several incidents reported in recent weeks.

Victims are being deceived by fake virus pop-up notifications on their computers, leading them to fraudulent web pages that appear legitimate.

Scammers impersonate well-known companies like Microsoft Security and McAfee Anti-Virus Software, convincing victims to call a provided phone number.

Upon making the call, the scam artist informs the victim that their bank account has been compromised and directs them to transfer funds or wire money to specific accounts, often suggesting the use of cryptocurrency.

In a similar vein, phone scammers are posing as officials from Homeland Security, the US Marshals, or US Border and Customs.

These criminals claim the victim is implicated in serious out-of-state crimes and must pay to avoid arrest.

Utilizing personal information and spoofed government agency numbers to appear credible, they ultimately coerce victims into sending money.

A recent case involved a victim withdrawing a substantial amount of cash and depositing it into a Crypto Currency ATM, following the scammer’s instructions.

The funds are then quickly rerouted through various accounts, making recovery nearly impossible.

The “Grandchild in Jail” scam is another tactic still employed by fraudsters, where they pretend to be court officials or attorneys claiming a grandchild has been arrested.

They urge the victim to provide large sums of money for bail, often picking up the cash in person.

The Woburn Police Department emphasizes that no legitimate agency will demand payment in cash, require the purchase of cryptocurrency, or ask for money to be wired to an unknown account.

They also warn against any calls instructing individuals to buy gift cards to settle alleged debts, such as utility bills or back taxes.

Residents are advised to be vigilant and hang up immediately on any suspicious calls.

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