Madison man loses $19,000 in antivirus software scam

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Madison police said scammers stole $19,000 from a Madison man after gaining access to his computer and bank account.

Police said the 57-year-old victim was on his computer when it locked up, and a message appeared on the screen instructing him to contact "Microsoft."

He followed instructions and called someone who offered to remotely install antivirus software, according to authorities. The caller implemented a series of confusing "fixes," which the victim had to pay for.

Eventually $800 was supposed to be refunded to the victim, so he provided access to his bank account.

Police said instead of the $800 deposit, $8,000 showed up in the victim's bank account. The victim was told he needed to pay the "company" back, and was to do so by purchasing thousands of dollars in gift cards.

Officials said he provided the caller with the gift card numbers. The $8,000 deposit was lost, and then thousands more disappeared from his bank account. The total amount of losses was $19,000.