Kentuckians report losing more than $90,000 in computer virus scam

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ)- Kentucky’s Attorney General has issued a computer virus scam alert.

Complaints have come in from Fayette, Johnson, Franklin, Jefferson and other counties.

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People have lost more than $90,000 dollars collectively so far in this scam. According to Attorney Genera, Andy Beshear, one person in Jefferson County lost $89,000. That money has not been recovered.

The Attorney General’s Office says a fake pop-up window appears on people’s computer screens telling them there’s a virus.

They are given an 800-number to call for help.

According to the Attorney General, the person that answers that number sounds like a tech support service worker, but it is really a scam artist who is collecting login credentials.

That person then steals your personal and financial information and can clean out your bank accounts.

“These scammers won’t clean your hard drive, but they will clean out your bank account,” said Beshear. “Just as we wouldn’t give a stranger a key to our homes, Kentuckians should never give a stranger access to their personal computers.”

The Attorney General is offering these tips to keep you from falling for the scam:

-Don’t call a number or click on a link from a pop-up message or unfamiliar email.
-Don’t trust numbers, even if it appears to come from a legitimate tech support company.
-Never give a caller remote access to your computer or personal device.
-Never buy gift cards as a form of payment to “tech support” callers.

To report scams to the Office of the Attorney General, fill out an online consumer complaint form.

You can sign up for the Attorney General’s scam alerts by texting the words KYOAG Scam to GOV-311 (468-311) or you can sing up online at ag.ky.gov/scams and select text message or email alert.

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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at VSeltzer@wtvq.com. She looks forward to hearing from you!