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Scammers Hitting Mother Lode Hard

Sonora, CA — Mother Lode residents watch out – several internet and phone scams have been reported to Sonora Police recently.

The latest involves the web and Dr. James Mosson of Sonora who says he almost fell for it.  “All of a sudden a gray strip comes across the screen in says, ‘Microsoft is warning you that you have a terrible virus’…says call this number…so I called and I get this guy from India who says were going to take over your computer.”

Luckily, Dr. Mosson did not allow the man on the phone accesses to his computer, which would have allowed the thief to steal his personal information, according to Sonora Police Chief Mark Stinson. He says, “Do not call the number, just delete the message without opening it.”  Other recent swindles include the Green Dot Gift Card where Chief Stinson explains a message from the FBI comes up on computer screens claiming your computer will be frozen because it has been used for criminal activities.  The person is told to give a credit card number immediately to avoid a fine.  A similar fraud involving the IRS blanketed the area last week, according to Chief Stinson, who says several people reported being victims of the scam.  He says, “These do run in a cycle.  We’ll see them and then they’ll disappear for six months and then return.  What they do is target a particular city or zip code and bombarded that area.”

Chief Stinson warns scams have been an ongoing problem since January, especially on the internet.  He adds always report the crime to law enforcement so other do not fall prey to the thieves.