Local woman falls victim to computer scam, warns others
A local woman paid hundreds of dollars to retrieve her computer files after a ransomware attack.
Experts say it’s a good time to back up your computer files on a regular basis because of a growing ransomware scam that’s infecting users’ computers.
The latest scam making headlines is the WannaCry ransomware attack.
A Chattanooga woman says she recently became a victim and wants to share her story to warn others.
Sharon Loving says she was working on her computer late Thursday night when all of a sudden her screen went nuts.
“I was doing stuff like normal and out of nowhere it happened. I'd never had that experience where something just completely takes over your entire screen and there's this message,” Loving tells Channel 3.
The message on her computer screen said she had a virus and shouldn’t ignore the warning.
“They didn't say we've hijacked you but you feel very much hijacked. My screen is completely locked," says Loving.
She began communicating with the people who had taken over her computer.
Loving says they were so convincing that she paid them $300 to unlock her files.
They did and she thought everything was back to normal but the next day they called again telling her there was another problem.
“By this time, I'm really on alert because something is really not right about this,” says Loving.
By then, Loving had also just heard about the WannaCry ransomware attack.
She canceled her credit card, changed all of her passwords and so far, she says her computer is fine.
“I really was actually embarrassed for a minute like, I fell for it. They got me,” says Loving.
In this case, Loving was lucky that she was able to retrieve her files but experts don’t recommend paying up because there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to access your files and data.
The Better Business Bureau has a useful tool available to the public. It’s a scam tracker that identifies reported scams across the state.