Rochester man nearly loses $20,000 to phishing email

Email from fake Geek Squad claimed man needed to update his antivirus software.

Police lights crime
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A Rochester man realized he was being made a victim of fraud and stopped the act before its completion.

The victim, a 59-year-old Rochester man, reported to police on Thursday that he had received an email that looked like it came from the Geek Squad, a information technology service division of Best Buy, said Rochester Police Capt. Casey Moilanen. The email claimed the man needed to renew his antivirus software.

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The man called the phone number listed in the email, saying he had already renewed the software and requesting some clarification. He also clicked the link listed in the email, Moilanen said, and his computer locked up during the process. After getting someone on the phone, the victim was transferred several times before getting to talk to someone who claimed to be from the Geek Squad who would help him.

The person on the phone said the company needed to reimburse him $200, and asked for his banking information to wire the money. When the victim went to check his account, there was a deposit of $20,000. The person on the phone then asked the victim to wire back the $20,000, claiming the amount was sent in error.


However, the victim realized that the $20,000 that had been wired to his bank account had actually been taken from several other accounts he owned, Moilanen said, so he ended the call and contacted the police. He also contacted his banking institutions and froze all his accounts.

Moilanen said the victim eventually decided to replace his computer since the old one was locked and likely infected.

Meanwhile, the case is being investigated to try to catch the culprits.

Moilanen said people should have some suspicion when it comes to unsolicited emails. Always look up the phone number for the organization separately, and do not click on links in unsolicited emails.

Brian Todd is the news editor at the Post Bulletin. When not at work, he spends time with his family, roots for the Houston Astros and watches his miniature dachshund sleep, which is why that dog is more bratwurst than hotdog. Readers can reach Brian at 507-285-7715 or
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