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New Computer Fraud Scheme Hits Tri-Cities

Persons posing as Verizon employees scamming victims
(Photo by Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images)

Kennewick police have received numerous reports about fraudsters claiming to be from Verizon.

Over the last four days,  a number of Kennewick residents have received phone calls from someone claiming to work for Verizon, and they are told their personal computers have been hacked.

This individual advises the victims they can help with the problem, and in offering assistance asks for the necessary information to access their computer.   Then, the caller demands the victim wire them money to a Western Union address outside the U.S.   If the person refuses, they are told that by not sending the money it will do damage to their computer since they’ve already given access.

Police urge all residents NOT to share any personal or confidential information, or any details that would allow anyone to access their computer.   No internet service provider, Verizon or otherwise, will ever call you and demand remote access to your computers.  If you do receive any such call, attempt to obtain as much information as you can about the caller, without revealing any of yours, and contact the appropriate police department with all details.

Kennewick authorities didn’t say if there was any information about where the calls might be originating from.

We at Newstalk 870 also have a tip for people who receive such a call.   If you own an air horn,  tell the caller to hold on for just a second,  and to listen carefully.  Place the air horn next to the phone, and let it fly!

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