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Utah businessman hacked by identity thieves and nearly robbed

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - Target isn't the only one being targeted by identity thieves. Hackers are still trolling the internet looking for unsuspecting users who accidentally invite spyware onto their personal computers. It happened to one local businessman.

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - Target isn't the only one being targeted by identity thieves. Hackers are still trolling the internet looking for unsuspecting users who accidentally invite spyware onto their personal computers. It happened to one local businessman.

 

With a simple click of the mouse Bengt Erlandsson opened up his life to identity thieves.

 

"When I downloaded Sketch Up there was a little icon that came up with a person's face and it said help desk from Microsoft,” said Erlandsson.

 

Only, it wasn't Microsoft. Hackers got into Erlandsson's computer and with it got access to all his banking information, his passwords and they even were able to take control of his email accounts.

 

"The first time I realized something was wrong was when I wasn't getting any email responses from my banker,” said Erlandsson.

 

Erlandsson owns an interior design company here in Utah, but regularly wires money back to his home country of Sweden. Just days after he was hacked, identity thieves requested a $6,500 wire transfer from Erlandsson's account to a woman in Miami.

 

"She showed me the email and it came from my email with my name on it, with my logo with my business logo they had all my information,” said Erlandsson.

 

Had the bank not called for his pin number, Erlandsson says the wire transfer would have likely gone through.

         

That's why agents with Salt Lake's FBI Cyber Task Force say you have to be careful about what you keep on your computer, because once a hacker is in any vulnerable information is up for grabs.

 

Supervisory Special Agent Jeffery Coburn told ABC 4 Utah, "All you have to do is click on something in order for that to install the virus. The high tech part comes in when the actual malware that's put on to your computer goes into your hard drive and finds information that's valuable and sends it off to the bad guy."

 

Erlandsson got off easy; he didn't lose any money but he still learned a valuable lesson.

         

Watch where you click and as Erlandsson said, "Anytime you download something make sure it's from a reliable source."

 

http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft

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