HOUSTON – A Katy man says he was scammed out of $200 by someone claiming to be with the FBI.
Like so many of us, Brejan Jackson’s daily routine includes surfing the web, but recently he logged on and found a startling surprise.
“I opened my laptop and received a message that my laptop had been locked by the FBI,” said Jackson. “I thought it was legitimate because it had the FBI logo and everything.”
It looked official enough with the logo and a message stating his computer had been locked due to violation of federal laws. But here’s where it gets fishy: all he had to do to unlock it was pay a fine using MoneyPak.
“It was for $200,” he said. “I put in the code and then it was gone from my computer.”
An FBI spokesperson said she’s heard of this happening before.
“There’s lots of different versions,” said FBI spokesperson Shauna Dunlap. “All of them sort of put up the seal of the FBI and try to scare you into paying a fine.”
One of the earliest versions claimed that computers were locked because they’d been used to access child pornography.
“It’s not the job of the FBI to levy and collect fines,” said Dunlap. “We don’t collect money, and we don’t notify you of criminal activity in that manner.”
Jackson was upset to find he had been duped.
“People work hard for their money,” said Jackson, “and for someone to take advantage of you, it’s so unfair.”