Vero Beach Woman Pays $5,000 In Computer Virus Scam

Man tells woman to go to the Vero Beach Walmart and send a MoneyGram to two different individuals in China.
Man tells woman to go to the Vero Beach Walmart and send a MoneyGram to two different individuals in China.

VERO BEACH – A Vero Beach woman paid two people in China $5,000 after her computer began acting strangely.

Penny Schmutzler was prompted to call a listed phone number that popped up on her computer screen. She told a deputy with the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office that she paid $199.00 for 6 months of virus protection after calling the phone number.

However, her computer began having technical issues again. Schmutzler called the number again and spoke to an unknown male. She gave the man remote access to her computer.

Schmutzler was told by the unknown company that they would issue her a refund for the virus protection but needed access to her banking account.

Unfortunately, she provided the unknown subject her banking information. Schmutzler then told the deputy that the unknown male conducted a balance transfer from her credit card to her checking account in the amount of $5,000.00.

The man instructed Schmutzler to go to the Vero Beach Walmart and send a MoneyGram to two different individuals in China. She was provided the names Canlun Lmo and Zexian Chen.

Schmutzler sent two MoneyGrams of $2500.00 each to the individuals.

This case is still active with the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office.

As previously reported by Sebastian Daily, there has been a growing number of people falling for computer scams in Sebastian and Vero Beach. The calls are from Cybercriminals who try to trick people into enabling a remote login, which allows them to enter their computer at home to “fix viruses” or some other trickery.

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges was born in Annapolis, Maryland and raised in Jupiter, Florida. Andy has been a radio & TV personality since the 1980s. He has worked for WLIZ, WFLX-FOX 29, WIRK, WIXI, WKSY, WRMF, and WJNO to name a few. After spending 7 years in Atlanta, Georgia during the 1990s, Andy returned to Florida and settled in the small town of Sebastian in 2000. In 2005, he returned to the broadcasting news sector and eventually joined our news team in 2016 as editor in chief. Andy's family has lived in Sebastian for more than 45 years.