Computer hackers target New Mexicans

ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico computer store says crooks have come up with a new way to take residents for a ride.

They say people are being told their computers have a lot of viruses, but the shop says the hackers have planted them there.

Alva Computers employees say the hackers infect the computers, then call the owners claiming to be from a reputable company.

They say they can fix the problem, but only if the owners are willing to pay for it.

Janet Norris was one of the schemers’ victims.

“I said, ‘Wait just a minute. I’m not buying something from you.’ He’s like, ‘Oh no, we really have to do this. We have to fix this now or it’s going to have problems,’ ” said Norris.

Norris says someone called her last week claiming to be from Microsoft.

The man on the other end of the line told her that her computer was full of viruses and he could clean it all up for her.

“There were a few times when I had my doubts, but he really was very good,” said Norris.

Norris took her computer to Alva Computers in Roswell which specializes in electronic support. They say someone hacked her computer and intentionally put viruses on it.

“They tried to scam her, and then they tried to get her to pay a price to go in and get it cleaned up,” said Alva Computers owner, Fermin Alvarez.

Alvarez says in the last month, eight people have called his business claiming the same thing happened to them. Roswell police say it’s suspicious.

“If you’re going to make a living, do it honestly,” said Norris. “There are plenty of things that people need out there that can be given to us in an honest away instead of taking advantage.”

The Roswell computer store says none of Norris’ personal information was compromised.

Roswell police are now investigating and asking anyone who may be a victim of the scheme to contact them.

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