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Brown Co. residents lose use of computers after pop-up scam

BROWN CO., Kan. (WIBW) – Many Brown Co. residents. reported losing use of their computers after a pop-up scam attempted to extort from them.

Brown County Sheriff John Merchant says many residents report pop-up ads randomly appearing on their computer screens that then disable the entire computer. He said the ad said the computer was locked and disabled by Windows and provided a number to call to fix the issue.

Sheriff Merchant said the pop-up appears to be sent by Windows and looks official, however, it is not sent by windows. He warned residents not to fall for the popular scam.

During this time, Merchant said the pop-up ads were accompanied by various pop-ups blocking the computer. He said many residents called the number listed in the ad and were told they had to pay a fee to unlock the computer, allow them to remotely access the computer and allow them to access bank accounts to pay for the service.

So far, the Sheriff said everyone who reported the ad and loss of their computers did not provide their bank account information to pay the fee.

Merchant said residents should be informed that if they agree to the stipulations on opening the computer, they will give complete strangers full access to everything stored on the server, including any and all confidential information.

“I warn the public, don’t give your information to the bank,” Merchant said. “If you do, they will use this information to clear your bank accounts.”

The Sheriff said that if anyone feels they have become a victim of this scam, they should immediately notify local law enforcement. He also said that if this scam is found on computers, residents should contact someone with experience in dealing with computer issues.

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