La Jolla Light Crime and Public-Safety News: April 4

BBB issues tips for avoiding tech- support scams

There is a new tech support scam attempting to deceive people by claiming their Internet Protocol (IP) address has been compromised. In the last few months, Better Business Bureau (BBB) has seen an increased number of reports to BBB Scam Tracker, regarding this type of fraud.

According to the BBB 2018 Scam Tracker Risk Report, tech support scams were the seventh riskiest scam, with a reported 31.7 percent victim rate and a median loss of $403.

There are two versions of this scam consumers should be ready to spot. In one, a pop-up appears on the computer screen with an ominous warning from a well-known tech support company. The pop-up asks the consumer to call a number to resolve the issue. When the number is called, a “technician” will tell them their IP address is being used by a criminal or shady individual. This “technician” will try to scare the caller by claiming they could be held responsible for the illegal activity.

In the second version, the consumer receives an unsolicited call from someone making similar claims.

In both cases, scammers claim they work for a reputable company, demand an upfront fee and remote access is required. Do not believe it. If the fraudster gains access, they may remove money from a personal account and have now an open door to any private information.

Stay protected by following these steps:

Never open e-mail attachments or links from unknown senders. Fake attachments and links may lead to malware being uploaded and can generate the fake warning pop-ups that prompt a call. If there is a suspicious alert, don't click on anything and restart the computer.

Be wary of unsolicited calls. A common scam is to make cold calls to frighten people into giving access to their computer. Legitimate tech companies do not call consumers. Scammers can spoof official-looking phone numbers, so exercise caution if they claim to be with Google, Microsoft, Windows, etc.

Never give strangers remote access.

Be wary of sponsored links. When searching online for technical support, carefully read the website link under the sponsored ad(s) at the top of the results list. Many of these links do not lead to a tech company and may instead direct you to businesses trying to trick consumers.

If you realize you’ve been the victim of a tech support scam:

  • Contact your bank immediately.
  • Take the compromised computer to a trusted local business, have it checked out. Remove any software authorizing remote access.
  • Change passwords.
  • File a report with BBB Scam Tracker and law enforcement agencies: bbb.org

La Jolla Village pharmacy robbed

San Diego Police Department’s Robbery Unit is investigating an armed robbery of a La Jolla Village-area pharmacy. According to police, the suspect walked up to the pharmacy counter at 4:20 p.m. March 31 at 8600 Villa La Jolla Drive and placed a note on the counter.

The suspect was armed with a knife. The note listed several medications the suspect wanted. The pharmacist gave the suspect the listed medications and then the suspect left in an unknown direction. He was described as a white male, 20 to 30 years old, 5 feet 8 inches tall, with a normal build, wearing a gray baseball cap with a green bill, gray hooded sweatshirt and was unshaven.

Police Blotter

March 4

Adult in possession of marijuana on grounds during school activities, 700 block Nautilus St., 11:10 a.m.

March 7

Vehicle break-in/theft, 2600 block Palomino Circle, 10 p.m.

March 22

Vehicle break-in/theft, 5700 block Beaumont Ave., 6 p.m.

March 23

Fraud, 2100 block Vallecitos, 8 a.m.

March 24

Grand theft, 7500 block Eads Ave., 1:40 p.m.

March 25

Petty theft, 8600 block Villa La Jolla Drive, 3:30 p.m.

Residential burglary, 5500 block Coral Reef Ave., 5 p.m.

March 26

Vehicle break-in/theft, 300 block Bonair St., 6:30 p.m.

March 27

Vehicle break-in/theft, 500 block Genter St., 2:34 a.m.

March 28

Vehicle theft, 5300 block La Jolla Blvd., 5 p.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft, 4900 block Crystal Drive, 10 p.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft, 1500 block Calle de Conco, 10 p.m.

March 29

Vehicle break-in/theft, 900 block Loring St., 2 a.m.

Grand theft, 5300 block Calle Vista, noon

DUI: Alcohol, 1300 block Torrey Pines Road, 11:24 p.m.

March 30

Petty theft, 7500 block Eads Ave., 3:30 p.m.

Petty theft, 7700 block Herschel Ave., 3:40 p.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft, 7800 block Prospect Place, 6:25 p.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft, 5600 block Calle Miramar, 11:30 p.m.

March 31

DUI: Alcohol, 2200 block Torrey Pines Road, 2:56 a.m.

Vandalism (less than $400), 2800 block La Jolla Village Drive, 2 p.m.

Vehicle theft (felony), 7700 block Draper Ave., 10 a.m.

Compiled by Ashley Mackin-Solomon from police reports.

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