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Centennial man scammed out of $500 during Geek Squad tech support session

Centennial man scammed out of $500 during Geek Squad tech support session
Posted at 5:23 PM, Mar 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-06 19:52:20-05

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Tech support is supposed to help protect your computer, but a Centennial man said his computer was hacked — and he lost hundreds of dollars — during a service session with Best Buy's Geek Squad.

John is so careful about protecting his identity that he asked Contact Denver7 not to use his last name. It's also why for many years, he splurged for a Best Buy Total Tech/Geek Squad membership.

"We spend a lot of money with Best Buy," he said. "It's always been safe in the past."

But when John signed in to have his computer serviced last September, he said he received a phone call from a supposed Geek Squad tech in the middle of a remote access session.

"He had everything. He had my cell phone, my email address," said John, who only noticed red flags when the caller kept asking him to enter codes from his phone.

Eventually, John hung up, but the damage had been done. Someone immediately tried to transfer money from his Chase bank accounts, but the transfers were denied.

John was not so lucky on his U.S. Bank account, where $500 disappeared via a Zelle transfer he didn't make.

"Understand that these are very complex," said investigator Antonio Hernandez with the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office.

Hernandez said this is a twist on a common tech support scam. In fact, there are many versions of Geek Squad scams that have been reported in the past.

While it's still not clear if the real Geek Squad was involved at the beginning, Hernandez said it's possible the computer had already been compromised and hackers were just waiting for the right moment.

"Somebody may have been monitoring the conversation, and then inserted themselves in at the proper time to make him provide sensitive information," said Hernandez.

He called the incident an important reminder for people not to rush into allowing access to their devices.

"Stop for a minute, take a breath, and then talk to somebody else, anybody else other than the person that you're currently talking to," he said.

Contact Denver7 reached out and U.S. Bank, which is now re-examining the case.

In a statement to Contact Denver7, a spokesperson responded:
While we are unable to comment on specific customer situations, if customers notice something's not right with their account, we encourage that they contact us immediately at our Fraud Liaison Center (877-595-6256). To maximize coverage, report unauthorized transactions within 60 days after we first deliver an account statement to you disclosing a suspected unauthorized transaction.

Best Buy has not responded as of publication.

John said he will never do remote access service again, and he wants others to be careful.

"This may be a bigger problem than just what I experienced," he said.

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