May 26, 2022

Recently on Amazon he bought an HP printer. The purchase prompted him to seek tech support from HP to set up wireless printing.

When he searched the web for an HP phone number, he went to a look-alike website that seemed legitimate, only wasn’t. The site gave a business address that he later learned was a strip mall in California. He dialed the number and the con artist who answered gave his name as “John William.”

Things went from bad to worse when the victim granted the crook’s request for remote access to his computer. The victim only gave permission because he thought he was dealing with HP — not an impostor.

Lesson 2: Never let a stranger have remote access to your computer — unless you are 100 percent sure the person is trustworthy.

The victim became alarmed while he watched his computer screen and saw the fraudster go to He protested, telling “John William” that he didn’t want to buy anything. Hoping to prevent misuse of his Amazon account — and to end the matter — the victim then shut his computer off.

But the mischief didn’t stop. Soon the victim received a package containing three Best Buy gift cards worth a total of $700 along with a USB drive. He hadn’t bought them, nor had he authorized their purchase.

A day later, a man whose voice sounded very much like that of “John…

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