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Crime Report: Fraudsters use remote computer access to compromise woman’s bank accounts

The Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Support Group recently received a $12,000 donation from the Ca
Crimes recently included petty theft, grand theft and attempted fraud by false pretenses.
(File Photo)

Jan. 9

Petty theft: 800 block of Foothill Boulevard. A store employee reported sometime between 7:44 and 7:49 p.m., a pair of black Beats Solo headphones and an Ultimate Ears brand speaker were stolen from the store. Other employees were ruled out as potential suspects. Video surveillance from one camera showed a male and female near the area of the stolen items at the time they are thought to have been taken, but the camera covering the actual items was inoperable from about 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Jan. 23

Grand theft, access card; petty theft: 521 Foothill Blvd. A woman reported someone stole her wallet from her purse while she was grocery shopping and made fraudulent charges using her access cards. The woman had entered the store around noon, placing her purse in her shopping cart. While inside the store she unzipped her purse to take some medication and then put everything back in her purse. Minutes later, she found the contents of her purse were outside of the purse and her wallet missing. She later received notifications regarding her Bank of America debit card and Capital One Visa card about fraudulent purchases made at Target and Staples. Video surveillance footage from the store showed a Latino and a Latina wearing dark clothing and hats enter the store at around 12:13 p.m. and follow the victim. A third adult at the front of the store appeared to act as a lookout while the others rummaged through the victim’s purse and removed one item. Target video surveillance showed the same three suspects, this time with a fourth female accompanying them, making purchases at the register.

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Jan. 28

Attempted fraud by false pretenses; unauthorized access to computer: 4700 block of Lasheart Drive. A woman told deputies that two years ago she received a call on her home line from someone telling her a computer she’d bought had a virus and that the person would need to access her computer remotely to remove it, for a fee. She followed their instructions and gave them money for future protection. Then, on Jan. 25, the woman received a call from someone who told her that company was closing and she was due a refund for services she’d never used. That person asked for her bank account number to deposit the refunded money, but the woman said she’d prefer a check. The person denied the request and demanded her bank information, so she hung up. The next day at around 6:46 a.m., she got a call on her cellphone demanding money and she immediately hung up. At around 10 a.m. she got another call from someone who claimed she owed him money. When she asked for more information, the man said he was from the computer service company and had tried to refund her one amount of money but had accidentally given more and was now owed the difference. A bank representative later told the woman money had been transferred from her savings account to her checking account by unknown means and persons unknown. She later told deputies her computer had been hacked and several programs with her personal information may have been compromised, while other programs and documents were missing. When she turned off her computer, then attempted to log back in, she learned her password had been changed.

Compiled by Sara Cardine

sara.cardine@latimes.com

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Twitter: @SaraCardine


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