Marblehead Police issue new scam alert

Marblehead Police are issuing a new scam alert after a resident reported losing $60,000 in a computer hoax. 

“Literally everyone relies on Microsoft and Apple, so they (perpetrators) are creating a scam that makes you feel as if information from your computer has been compromised,” Police Chief Dennis King told the Marblehead Current.”

The victim’s money “was withdrawn on multiple occasions and converted into bitcoin,” the Marblehead Police Department wrote on Facebook. “The scammers told the victim that their accounts were compromised by Russian and Chinese websites.”

There’s been a significant uptick in scams like this in Marblehead and surrounding communities.

The scammers are “making their presence known on the North Shore,” King said. And he warned that it’s not just senior citizens who are falling victim.

“Everybody is vulnerable to the sophistication of these scams.”

In another recent case, scammers called a local resident saying that their gas was about to be shut off, if a payment wasn’t made.

Police are working with local banks, encouraging them to contact them if they suspect a customer is being conned.

“If they do flag something, we want them to feel comfortable to bring it to us and we’ll respond to help immediately.”

Chief’s advice

King has two pieces of advice for residents.

“Never commit to giving money or taking out money and depositing it into someone’s account or into cryptocurrency,” he said. “If you’re worried about the security of your computer or your gas line, call the number that’s listed on your bill, or call Microsoft. Always make sure you go through legal authorities.”

King urges residents to call the police if they have any questions. “We can tell you, there’s a Microsoft scam going around.”

Also, don’t be embarrassed if you do get conned.

“These people are so sophisticated, don’t feel shame if you fall for something,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that they’ve gotten so good.”

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Leigh Blander is an experienced TV, radio and print journalist who has written hundreds of stories for local newspapers, including the Marblehead Reporter. She also works as a PR specialist.

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