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Computer scam targets older users

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Updated: 5/24/2013 11:37 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- For many, going online is the easiest way to shop and manage personal accounts. That's true for Lin Pomerantz.

"Almost everything I do is online."

Pomerantz is part of a growing senior community that is relying on technology more and more. But convenience can make them a target for criminals.

"Scam artists are feeding on fear and most of the time that is what they do," says Valerie Norton of Duval County Seniors vs. Crime.

Norton says scammers are calling local seniors and posing as computer experts from big companies like Microsoft.

"They ask if your computer is running slow, or if it has any glitches."

Most of the time, Norton says, victims will accept free help to fix the problem.

"They'll tell you where to click, and then they'll get the routing number and get remote access to your computer."

As victims watch, criminals look through all their personal information.

"They're computer screen becomes your computer screen so they can click on the icons as if they're sitting at your computer."

Microsoft released the following warning about the scam, saying customers should never give access to their computers without verifying who they are speaking with: http://www.microsoft.com/security/online-privacy/avoid-phone-scams.aspx

For more information on scams affecting local seniors, or to report a scam, contact Seniors vs. Crime at http://www.seniorsvscrime.com.

Representatives also provide free seminars for senior groups throughout the area.
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