CBS2's Tracee Carrasco Placed A Call To The Scammers

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police have a warning about a new phone scam that can wipe out everything on your computer and steal all of your information.

CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco on Tuesday found out what happens when a call is placed to the scammers.

“They were very believable,” said Samantha Weisberg. “They knew just what to say.”

Weisberg got a frantic call at her West Nyack home. The person on the other end claimed to work for Apple, and said her laptop was hacked.

“I got on my computer. Apple does the screen sharing, so they asked me if they can get control of my screen,” Weisberg said, “and they were very insistent that it needed to be right now.”

Weisberg, a junior at Emerson College, told CBS2 by Skype that she had work done on her laptop a month earlier by Apple. So the story seemed plausible – until the caller got aggressive.

“They started yelling at me that Russian hackers were in my stuff right now, and they were in control of everything, and that if I didn’t pay them immediately, $3- to $5,000, that everything would just be deleted from my computer,” she said.

Weisberg, 20, refused to pay up, but it was too late. Her laptop was wiped clean. The scammer already had control of her computer and everything on it.

“It’s just scary how much information is on your computer, and how easily somebody can access that,” she said.

CBS2’s Carrasco called the number traced back to the scam. She got a different story, but the same shakedown.

“Ma’am I just need to take a help of your computer to find out why your network security is turned off, and who made it turn off, and what exactly is going into your network,” the person on the other end told Carrasco. “We need to find out, and then we will help it to fix it up.”

Now, police are warning people not to fall for it.

“If it doesn’t feel right, doesn’t sound right, maybe you should stop right there; hang up,” said Peter Walker of the Clarkstown Police Department.