NJ victims scammed by woman’s fake tech support, prosecutors say
💻 International tech support scam targeted NJ victims in late 2022
💻 A Pennsylvania woman faces charges in Bergen County for sending money to India
💻 This type of scam is widespread — another group is accused of targeting 20,000 victims
A Bucks County, Pennsylvania woman has been busted for creating a fake tech support company to scam New Jersey residents, Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced.
Mona Sethi was arrested on Wednesday at her townhouse in Furlong, PA.
The 65-year-old was charged with money laundering, theft by deception and conspiracy.
Sethi created a shell company, Micro Technical Services LLC, Musella said, as well as bank accounts that helped steal money from the victims and move the funds overseas to India.
Following her arrest, she was waiting to be brought back to New Jersey.
International tech support scam targets NJ victims in late 2022
In September, detectives from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Financial Crimes Unit were tipped off by Waldwick police to an international tech support scam targeting residents.
Those running the scam made victims believe that their computers were compromised and for a fee could be fixed, Musella said.
Victims who allowed remote access to their computers were then subjects of further fraud.
In separate arrests late last year, five men were charged in a federal indictment and a Middlesex County woman pleaded guilty in connection with a similar, massive scam.
More than 20,000 victims, many of whom were elderly, were in both the U.S. and Canada, U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger previously announced.
Meghna Kumar, 50, of Edison, pleaded guilty in December to engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity, for her role in the scheme.
💻 What should NJ residents know about tech support scammers?
Real tech support companies or technicians, including those from Microsoft or Apple, would not contact individual users to inform them that a device has been infected, according to law enforcement with the New Jersey Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Cell.
Never share financial or personal information, or allow access to your computer or other smart device to someone that you do not know and whose identity has not been validated.
Before buying anti-virus software, do your own research and visit official company websites to download.
💻 What do you do if you think you fell victim to a tech support scammer?
⚫️ If a card or bank account was used to "pay" a scammer, contact your bank or credit card company to request a new card and to block additional unauthorized charges or use.
⚫️ If fraudulent transactions were already made, you can dispute those charges.
⚫️ Put a credit freeze on your credit profile, to prevent anyone from opening a new credit account using your information, according to the NJCCIC.
⚫️ The Federal Trade Commission has a website for reporting possible identity theft and getting guidance on a recovery plan, here.
Erin Vogt is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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