TURNER CO., GA (WALB) - Law enforcement in Turner County is warning residents that criminals are continuing to steal from people using phone scams.
One South Georgia man said he believes he was targeted by a scammer using a different twist. He said someone called him and claimed they were with Microsoft and had to update his computer.
Jim Applewhite, 73, received the call Monday and he thought he was really talking to the Microsoft Corporation. But he caught on that it wasn't legitimate when they began asking him for thousands of dollars for a yearly subscription.
"Your computer's Microsoft Windows license has expired," said a voice message Applewhite received.
If you hear this message on your answering machine, chances are it's not Microsoft and is more than likely a scam.
Applewhite heard this message and was concerned about his computer, so he called them back.
"He said, 'I am Microsoft Technician Mike Brown and my Microsoft number ID is...' and I wrote all of that down," explained Applewhite.
The person on the phone then prompted Applewhite to log in to a certain website with an ID and password that he gave him, allowing him access.
"He said, 'I want to show you this, this has all been compromised,'" said Applewhite.
The scammer, under the name of Mike Brown, was logged into Applewhite's computer at the same time.
"I saw my accounts, no passwords or anything but that was so fast," explained Applewhite.
The scammer then began telling Applewhite about his pricing options and to get rid of the infected files he would have to pay.
"He told me a thousand dollars for the first year and a thousand dollars for the second year, but he would give me a $500 discount," added Applewhite.
Applewhite then realized it wasn't really Microsoft because he was familiar with the company's pricing.
"I told him I wasn't going to pay that outrageous price and it was a scam and he clicked off real quick," said Applewhite.
Applewhite is urging residents, if you hear that message on your answering machine, don't call them back.
"Some people could get hurt by this. This guy is really smooth," said Applewhite.
Applewhite called the Turner County Sheriff's Office after receiving the call. Now, he is urging everyone to never give out any banking or personal information over the phone.