By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
SOUTHGATE – An “Apple support” scam artist convinced a 59-year-old Southgate woman into sending gift cards and cash over two days by claiming to be “protecting her” from an ongoing overseas identity theft.
The victim said that on Dec. 18, she received a phone call from “Apple support,” claiming that her identity had been stolen by hackers in Ukraine and Russia. The caller claimed that she needed to send money to them via gift cards and wire transfers for them to work to protect her from the ongoing identity and personal information theft.
The caller warned her not to call anyone or use her phone, claiming it had been tapped by the overseas hackers.
Over the next two days, the woman withdrew money from her PNC Bank account to buy Best Buy and Target gift cards, and from her Chase Bank Visa card and her PNC Visa card, which she used to send money electronically to the alleged support team.
After two days of sending funds, she became suspicious, realized she was being victimized and contacted police officers to report the fraud. She was given a report number, and advised to report the fraud directly to her financial institutions.