According to detectives, there are three common scenarios reported to police. In one, callers will pose as a support representative of a legitimate computer company, and convince the victim to supply credit card information, provide remote access to home computer systems, or download malicious software.
In another scenario, emails from someone posing as a financial institution will direct a victim to a link where, by providing personal information, the victim expects to correct a reported problem with their account or collect contest winnings. The department advises receivers of such emails to contact the institution directly and not to click on the link.
Another common scenario, typically targeting the elderly, involves someone posing as a family member or police officer, describing an emergency situation where a relative is in the immediate need of a wire transfer. The calls often seem legitimate because the caller gleans personal information readily available on social networking sites.
Scams take a variety of additional forms, combining elements of the three most common scenarios. Last month, Wyckoff police reported that an elderly woman had been bilked out of $4,000 after providing serial numbers of purchased gift cards to a caller who claimed the funds were required to collect a lottery prize.In many cases, the calls or emails come from beyond the jurisdiction of local authorities, who are unable to retrieve the money, especially in the case of wire transfers.