Computer scam surfaces in Cortez

A computer service scam has surfaced in Cortez, and at least three residents have been swindled to date.

Jason Thomason, owner of Thomason Computer Service, said three of his clients have been victims, and another two were targeted but realized something wasn't right.

He said that the total number of victims is probably higher but some don't bother to report the incidents.

Thomason and one of his clients said the scam begins when an individual from a company calling themselves Urgent Tech Help phones a person, telling them he is from Windows (Microsoft) and the company has identified a problem with his or her computer.

The man offers to fix or repair the computer for $179, and threatens them with shutting down their service within three days if they choose not to use their service

Once the computer's information is in the hands of the perpetrator several unwanted and not necessary features are added to the computer through the phone.

In one case. A woman was told her computer's hard drive had a virus and it would have to be replaced.

The woman paid the company with a credit card, and after being told she had been scammed put a hold on the credit card.

Thomason removed all of the features that had been added to the woman's computer and checked the hard drive and determined there had never been a virus.

A man from the company called the woman back a few days later to follow up, and he hung up when she told him she had her computer's hard drive checked and did not appreciate being lied to.