Scammers access man’s bank accounts

OKEECHOBEE — When a 22-year-old Okeechobee man learned scammers had moved money from his savings account into his checking account, he quickly froze the accounts and avoided losing any of his money.

A report by Deputy Frank Baum, of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), detailed how the man bought a new computer then ran into problems when he tried to load an anti-virus program onto the laptop.

When he couldn’t load the program, he called a phone number for help that was provided by the program.

The computer technician told the local man he would have to remotely access the computer and that he needed a payment of $150 to install the program.

The victim made the payment and the technician, going by the name of David Walker, accessed the computer.

At some point the victim realized the program had not been installed, so he again called the provided phone number to ask that his $150 be refunded. Walker apparently told the victim the money would be refunded.

But, a short time later the victim received a call claiming the company had made an error and mistakenly deposited $5,000 into his account instead of the $150. The victim was then told to go to Walmart and purchase two MoneyGrams for $2,500 each.

“One MoneyGram was to be sent to Vugar Ayralov in Georgia, Russia, and the other to Aykhan Omarov in Georgia, Russia,” stated Deputy Baum’s report.

Thinking something nefarious was underfoot, the victim went to his bank where he found $5,000 had been transferred from his savings account into his checking account.

“The transaction was not made by him,” pointed out Deputy Baum. “(He) put a hold on his bank accounts and informed his financial institution of the possible fraudulent charges to his bank account.”

Deputy Baum’s report went on to add that the victim was never refunded the $150 and has had no further contact with the scammers.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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