Stateline woman warns others about the dangers of computer scams

DURAND, Ill. (WIFR) -- During the first nine months of this year U.S. consumers have lost more than $21 million to computer scams. One local woman was fooled and wants others to know how to spot a scam.

“It’s like okay costly lesson but it's learned,” said Jeanine Schwab.

Earlier this year, Schwab got a phone call saying there was a problem with her computer and there was only one way to fix it.

"They said they actually needed to go into our computer, so we let them go into our computer and then they said what the problem was and what they needed to do,” said Schwab.

But there wasn't a problem. They told Schwab she needed to provide them with iTunes card numbers, so she did only to realize she was a victim of a scam.

"In the beginning we both thought okay this is kind of strange, but we fell for it,” said Schwab.

"It works. They can make a lot of money easily stealing from other people,” said Dennis Horton, director of the Rockford Regional Office of the Better Business Bureau.

Horton says the Rockford Better Business Bureau's office receives around 100 calls a week reporting tech scams.

"As soon as you realize or think ‘I might have done this,’ move quickly because especially if it's your debit card because they can very quickly empty you bank account,” said Horton.

Horton says if you do fall victim to these scams, don't panic. Report it and take your computer to be cleaned by an IT professional.

"Never provide anybody under any circumstances whether it's a scammer or not any financial information,” said Horton.

Schwab says she never thought this could happen to her, but now, she's learned her lesson.

"Now, those calls that come in on my phone and say those things, I just delete them and do not follow up on them,” said Schwab.