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Theft By Deception / Computer Scam

DATE & TIME: 12-30-2019 @ 14:38

LOCATION: Cortland, Nebraska

OFFENSE: Theft By Deception / Computer Scam

CASE #: 2019-6726

A resident of Cortland discovered several thousand dollars had been transferred from her bank account to a mobile app, then to an unknown person. Additionally, her cell phone number had been “hijacked” by unknown persons and, by commandeering this device, had access to all her personal information and financial accounts, as well as usernames and passwords. She also reported the culprits sent text messages to persons in her contact list stating she was in trouble and asked them to send money, however she was totally unaware of these texts and any funds that were sent, did not go to her.

A Gage County Sheriff’s Office investigator responded to investigate and assist the victim. He will be working with the victim, the bank, several financial companies such as PayPal, and the Mid-States Organized Crime Information Center to try to retrieve any funds and to apprehend the suspects.

It is unknown at this time how her phone number and other accounts were compromised, but common ways are for suspects to contact the victim, via e-mail or phone, and state they are with technical assistance and offering to help with some service issue. The victim is then tricked into allowing the suspect to access and control their computer, at which point the suspect can copy or download all the victim’s private information and take over the account at any time.

The Gage County Sheriff’s Office urges residents to use caution when dealing with any unknown person, whether it is online, via phone, through the mail, or in person. Ensure your computer has adequate protection against spam and do not open suspicious e-mail. If you suspect a scam, contact the local police department or call the Gage County Sheriff’s Office and ask to speak with an investigator.

Sheriff Millard “Gus” Gustafson #903

Investigator T. Hanson #90310