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$400 Lighter: Ridgewood Man Falls For 'Hacked Computer' Scam

Another scam succeeds.
Another scam succeeds. Photo Credit: COURTESY: blog.rackspace.com

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. – A Ridgewood man lost $400 to scam artists who claimed his computer had been hacked, authorities said.

The William Street resident said a purported member of the fraud department at Apple contacted him saying his iMac was hacked, Police Chief Jacqueline Luthcke said Wednesday.

“The victim provided access to his personal computer and was advised to purchase $400 in Apple gift cards,” Lutchcke said. “The victim purchased the gift cards and provided the serial numbers to the caller.”

He then “then realized it was a scam and contacted the police department,” she said.

But by then it was too late.

Police constantly warn citizens to fall for demands for money, either over the phone or via email. No legitimate company would ever ask you to buy gift cards, they emphasize.

Apple also warns customers on its support page :

"It's important to know that iTunes Gift Cards can be used ONLY to purchase goods and services on the iTunes Store, App Store, iBooks Store, or for an Apple Music membership.

"If you're approached to use the cards for payment...you could very likely be the target of a scam and should immediately report it to your local police department as well as the FTC.

"Please do not ever provide the numbers on the back of the card to someone you do not know. Once those numbers are provided to the scammers, the funds on the card will likely be spent before you are able to contact Apple or law enforcement."

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