Wentzville family harassed by telephone scammer

WENTZVILLE, MO (KTVI) – For one Wentzville family, a telephone scammer has gone too far, flirting with the victim and being rude to her grandmother.

It started with just one call that Valarie Gersman could quickly tell was a scam.  She explains, “He said that he was with Windows Support, and that he wanted us to go to our computer, that they had detected a virus from a remote location to our home, and that they were going to fix it for us.”

She doesn’t even own a windows computer, and hung up.  Chris Thetford with the Better Business Bureau says this is a fairly common scam, with serious consequences: “They can get access to information you have stored on your computer, which can allow you to become a victim of ID theft, or they can infect your computer with malware…So the best step, if you get one of these calls, is to realize that you didn’t call Microsoft or you didn’t call whoever it is that claims that they’re calling, so you should just hang up the phone.”

But in Gersman’s case, she did hang up the phone. And for months now, that same scammer has kept calling, sometimes several times per day.

She and her family tried ignoring the calls, but that’s been unsuccessful. It would also be tough to block the number, which keeps changing.

But lately, things came to a head, when the mystery caller crossed the line with this married mom.  “Just saying that my voice would do well in a romantic situation,” she says, “and I was like, you are so sleazy. I couldn’t believe he was trying to compliment me after numerous times of us just saying, we’re not interested. And then yelling at my grandmother on the phone to shut up is just not ok either.”

Now, she’s desperate for these harassing calls to stop, and hopes that if enough people wise up to this Windows Support scam, the fraudulent caller will give up.

Meanwhile, it can be a challenge for police to trace these scams, especially when they’re international, but it’s still important to let them know if you’re receiving harassing phone calls.