Elderly woman escapes fraud

OKEECHOBEE — An 83-year-old Okeechobee woman was the near victim of an attempt at fraud in the amount of $9,000 Wednesday evening.

According to an incident report by Deputy Tyler Ott, of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), the woman said Oct. 24, 2017, she paid $199.99 by E-Check to a company that claimed to be Microsoft. The company installed software and security devices on her home computer and said it fixed the issue she was having.

The woman claimed she received a call Nov. 1 around 2:30 p.m. from the same company that claimed affiliation with Microsoft by an individual named Justin Krejza, employee ID #KLNP6325783 and private phone number of 530-553-0090.

They claimed the woman was going to receive a refund from her earlier purchase and asked for her bank account information, which she provided.

The woman apparently filled out a “refund form” which included the amount to be refunded of $1,000 from their Chase Bank account. Once the woman completed and submitted the form, they claimed that she made a mistake and made the amount out for $10,000, and that too much money was taken out of their accounts.

Due to the individual(s) having the woman’s bank account information, they made it appear that $9,000 was deposited into her checking account, when in actuality they simply transferred it from her savings account noted the report.

The woman then said the person claimed they would be fired for the woman’s mistake when she told them that she would talk to the bank to have the issue resolved, continued the report.

Deputy Ott’s report also said the bank would not be able to fix the problem and that she would have to go to Walmart and purchase nine $1,000 gift cards to be sent to them. The woman agreed to do so.

Supposedly a woman at Walmart informed her it was a scam and she did not purchase the gift cards. Instead, she contacted her bank — freezing the accounts — and was told Bank of America will investigate the incident. The bank also transferred the money back into her savings account.

Deputy Ott’s report concluded that the woman was satisfied with her purchased services — as it fixed her computer — was not defrauded of any money and was cautioned about putting information on her computer, since the company she bought the software from tried to defraud her.

The woman was advised to not give any bank information to anyone over the phone or internet.

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