My good friend's father nearly fell victim to a pop-up scam online. He was browsing the internet when his screen turned red and froze. A page then popped up telling him to call Micro Soft customer service. He used his phone to google "Micro Soft" and the number provided. His search didn't take him to the official Microsoft website but he ended up calling the number anyway looking to fix his computer.

The person who answered, instructed him to turn off all of the electronics in his house and explained his virus protection had expired and the computer was infected with several bugs and had been hacked. He told my friend's father that he'd need to pay for the repair and asked him to go to Hy-Vee to get gift cards. The con-artist kept my friend's dad on the phone, but as he entered Hy-Vee the scammer became hostile and instructed him to stop talking on the phone. This was enough of a red-flag to realize that something wasn't right so my friend's dad hung up the phone.

The scammer didn't let up though and began calling back numerous times. The Rochester senior-citizen eventually went to Best Buy to figure out what was going on and the Geek Squad informed him that it was, in fact, a scam.

This is a good reminder that even though we see stories like this all of the time, others might now know. Please inform your friends and family about these types of rip-off artists. No reputable company will ever ask for payment in the form of gift cards.