Another phone scam hits parish

Published 1:01 pm Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office is warning residents to be aware of the latest scam targeting the area.

It seems bogus Microsoft representatives contact residents and tell them their computers are sending out error messages and they’re calling to correct the problem through the computer.

Darryl Peterson, of the Rio community, was on the receiving end over the past weekend of one of those calls from a fake Microsoft representative.

“He told me they needed to remotely hook up to my computer to correct the problem,” Peterson said. “The caller didn’t know my Windows version, so I pretty much knew it was a scam then. Microsoft doesn’t have my number. He spoke broken English with an overseas accent. He didn’t have caller ID.”

When Peterson asked the caller to identify his Windows version, the person on the other end became flustered.

“When he didn’t know the version he paused for a long time then called me a stupid (expletive deleted) and hung up,” Peterson said.

Peterson said the call with the bogus Microsoft rep lasted three or four minutes in its entirety.

“There are so many scams going out there right now,” Chief Deputy Mike Haley said. “Folks need to use their common sense and hang up.”

Haley said a recent scam involving a phony IRS call had an elderly woman losing $200 after she sent the money to the caller.

“It’s tough to educate the public. People want to believe everything they hear,” Haley said. “If somebody wants to get in touch with you, and it’s legitimate, they’ll get in touch with you.”