Job search ends with Raleigh woman being scammed out of $3,000

Diane Wilson Image
Thursday, October 19, 2023
Job search ends with Raleigh woman being scammed out of $3,000
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Raleigh woman, Noelle Griffin, explains how online popup tricked her into shelling out $3,000 in Microsoft impersonation scam.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A search for a new job ended with a Raleigh woman losing $3,000.

Noelle Griffin is sharing her story as she wants to make sure no one goes through the same emotional and financial heartbreak.

"I was in such a panic mode. I was just going to do what he said," Griffin said. Trying to act fast, Griffin had no idea she was caught up in a scam. "These people use scare tactics, it's a very complex scamming and hacking."

This started when she was searching online for a job, and a popup appeared on her laptop screen.

"From Microsoft, who I thought was Microsoft, saying that my IP address had been hacked," Griffin said.

The pop-up stated that her PC was blocked for security reasons. She called the number on the pop-up.

"Gave me a Microsoft ID number and told me there were four hackers who hacked my laptop and cell phone," Griffin recalled.

From there it got worse.

"He said that there was a charge trying to get put through my online banking for $3,000 to purchase pornography."

Griffin wanted to stop the fraud.

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"He told me to go to the bank and withdraw the funds because they could not stop the funds from going through," she added.

The scammer convinced Griffin to take the entire $3,000 out of her bank account, and then buy gift cards with the money.

"The only way for them to put it back in my account was through information on the back of the gift card, through like a code."

She then read the numbers on the back of the gift cards, giving the scammer access to the $3,000 in gift cards.

"Obviously there were red flags at that point, but I was willing to do anything to do what I thought to keep that money because that's all the money I have," Griffin said.

Eventually, Griffin learned this was all a scam and all of her savings were drained.

"This is probably going to cause me to lose my apartment. You know, I could very well be evicted," she told Troubleshooter Diane Wilson.

This scam continues to trick people as the popups in reality have nothing to do with Microsoft. Instead, the popups can appear when you go to a compromised website.

Scammers then impersonate a well-known company like Microsoft to make it believable, in reality her computer nor bank account was ever hacked. The big red flags with any scam are when you are asked to buy gift cards. Anytime you're asked to buy gift cards and read the numbers on the back, it's 100% a scam.

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