Scammers crash Cape Coral woman’s computer, demand money

Published: Updated:
FILE: Cyber security

CAPE CORAL, Fla.- A Cape Coral woman says she’s out hundreds of dollars after scammers threatened her into paying in exchange for saving her computer from a fake virus.

Pamela Nielsen, 65, said she was recently doing some online shopping on her personal computer when all of a sudden it froze. She said she thought it was a virus.

“All of a sudden a message pops up saying ‘If you need help with your computer to clear viruses up, 1-800 blah blah blah,” Nielsen said.


Nielsen called 1-866-348-0117, the number for a company called Tech Fix Now. She says she paid $400 to fix her computer and everything went back to normal. But last week, she received a call from a man with a local number, claiming to be with the company and saying they needed her to pay $2,000.

“‘If you do not send us the money we will turn off your computer and you will not have you computer accessible,'” Nielsen said scammers told her. “Their vocal tones changed to being rude and very nasty. They weren’t polite and nice anymore because I said ‘I don’t have the money, I don’t know why you’re doing this.”

Nielsen said she was afraid and knew something was wrong, so she contacted police.

“I was scared that’s why I hit a panic and thought ‘This cannot be happening,'” she said.

Police told investigators that the callers and notifications on her computer are a scam. Investigators say they can start by clicking on links in unfamiliar e-mails.

Since the incidents, Nielsen said she has ignored calls from unknown numbers.

“I’ve ignored it and they quit calling after about 24 hours, but they were trying to get their money,” she said.

Her computer is working fine, she said.

If you have any questions or think you’ve encountered one of these scams or any scam, you can call the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Fraud Line at 239-258-3292 or email at

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