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Man pays $16K to stop beeping on his computer

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A 75-year-old Sun City Hilton Head man reported to Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office that he was on his computer playing Solitaire one night and watching video clips of “The Carol Burnett Show” when he heard a beeping noise and a pop-up window appeared on his screen purporting to be from Microsoft.

The message on the screen said “To get this noise to stop, contact this number now.”

The man called the number and spoke with a woman who said she was with Microsoft’s “Hacking Department” and was then transferred to a man who identified himself as Sim Rhodes, a “Level-5 tech in their anti-theft department.” Rhodes told the man that in order to fix the problem, he’d have to purchase gift cards.

The man went to Lowes and purchased $6,000 in gift cards and called a number Rhodes had given him (1-800-642-7676) to read off the access codes from the cards. The next day, the man received another call from the subject and was instructed to buy more gift cards. The man again went to Lowes and also to CVS and purchased another $10,000 in gift cards. He again gave the access codes to the subject on the phone.

Later that night, the man’s son learned of the purchases and informed the man that he’d be scammed.