A Red Deer senior feels “violated” and “hurt” after finding out she was a victim in an online scam.
Pat Williamson, 70, is now warning people to be careful when paying for services on the internet.
“I’m a senior on a fixed budget but even if I wasn’t … ,” said Williamson. “I feel so violated because it’s just the idea that somebody took advantage of me.”
Williamson said she paid $699 US for a one year anti-virus program to a company through PayPal.
Back in April, Williamson had trouble printing from her Canon printer. That’s when she went online to find the company’s number and call for assistance.
While online she clicked on a ad for an anti-virus program, which she mistakenly thought was associated with Canon.
“It wasn’t actually Canon. That’s how these guys get you,” she said.
Williamson said the technician on the phone, who went by “Troy Adams,” remotely accessed her computer and brought up a list of unfamiliar names. He claimed the people listed were accessing her personal computer.
“Begrudgingly I went ahead with it (the anti-virus package),” she said, all the while feeling something was not right.
About a month later, there was no sound on her computer.
“Even the little sound icon was gone,” she said.
So the 70-year-old called the number again for further assistance and a technician fixed it.
But there was no sound again – just a few weeks after.
This time she took her computer to a Red Deer company. They told her she was scammed – paying for a “fake service package.”
A letter by the local company states her computer was full of “viruses and malware, some suspicious remote access programs, firewall issues and the system was vulnerable to future and continued attacks and remote access and/or control.”
Williamson said the technicians on the phone had American or Canadian names such as “Troy Adams,” but all of them had an East Indian accent.
Her advice from the experience is to “check and re-check” when conducting transactions online. Williamson said she contacted PayPal and they are refunding her money.
Police advise Canadians to be proactive when seeking out services. They say never give money or personal information to a business or organization unless you have researched them and know they are trustworthy.
For more information on protecting yourself visit www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca