TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Beth Kozzin was sitting at home when someone remotely tapped into her computer and advised her she had a virus.
“I got scammed,” Kozzin said.
Fortunately, she shut down her computer before major harm could happen.
“I’m not a stupid person, but I got scammed, had to change bank account and everything and I have an Apple, so I should have known better,” said Kozinn.
Computer fraud is a crime that frequently targets older Americans. Friday morning, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister announced his deputies arrested two men involved in a plan to target victims across the country.
“This latest scam is calling these elderly victims and saying you have a virus on your computer and I’m the only one that can remove it and if you pay a certain amount of money, I will remove that virus from you so you can continue to use your computer,” Chronister explained.
Deputies received a tip from out of state that the men behind the plan were located at a Roadway Inn Motel just off of U.S. 301. The men somehow convinced victims to send cash in Fed-Ex packages.
“We don’t know exactly how they identified the victims. It wasn’t even just here in Hillsborough County, it’s across the country,” said Chronister.
Deputies arrested 35-year-old Dontavius Oakley and 50-year-old Carlton Thomas in connection with the plan.
Deputies say they’ve identified nine victims so far who sent in thousands of dollars in cash. The sheriff says they expect to find more victims as the investigation continues.
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