The woman told the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office she received a call on Nov. 6 from someone she believed to be from Microsoft who stated a mistake had been made and the company needed to pay her $399.
The caller said that Microsoft needed access to her bank account in order to make the payment, which she granted, as well as access to her computer.
The victim later received notice from “Microsoft” saying that the payment had been made, but instead of $399 the company had deposited $1,999.
In order to return the extra $1,600, the victim was advised to go to Walmart and purchase 16 $100 Google Play cards, after which she called the person back and read off the card numbers.
Eventually she realized she had been the victim of a scam and contacted the HCSO.
She has since notified her bank about the potential security breach and had her computer “cleaned.”
Police say the best protection against similar scams is awareness and suspicion. Officials advise anyone who suspects he or she is dealing with a scammer to contact local law enforcement or file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
All online and telephone scams involving out-of-state suspects that are reported to the HCSO are forwarded to the FTC.
Call the FTC at (202) 326-2222 or visit www.ftc.gov to file a complaint.