The Polk County Clerk is warning residents of widespread international email and phone scams hitting Florida.
The scams falsely claim that victims have court cases or other legal issues pending in Florida and must pay money or provide private information. A 72-year-old Dunedin resident fell victim to a similar scam.
Marsha Pumo likes to use the computer to shop, talk with her friends on social media and to check her email.
“I’m afraid that something is going to happen now,” she said.
Pumo said she is afraid because she was recently scammed. In her mailbox she received an email that said her house would be foreclosed so she opened the email.
“Notification of eviction due to foreclosure that’s what showed up,” she said.
In fear that she would lose her house, Marsha followed the directions on the email that said she had to download more information. Once she did, the real problems began.
“The computer was shutting itself off and shutting itself on,” she said.
Pumo unknowingly downloaded a virus that crashed her computer. To get it removed she had to pay over $250 to a local repair man.
“It’s a lot of money especially when you’re a senior on social security,” she said.
Marsha worries that other seniors are going to be victims of similar scams and she wants them to learn from her nightmare.
“Be careful what you open,” she said “I think anyone would have done the same thing as me.”
Marsha says in the future she is going to be a lot more careful about what email she opens.
So far Marsha does not believe that the hacker has gained access to any of her personal information, such as bank accounts or social security number.