WESTFIELD, NJ — A fraudulent online computer repair service that told a man there was “illegal data on his computer” took $12,000 from the resident, police said Tuesday.

The resident living in the 1000 block of Ripley Avenue told police Feb. 8 that had attempted to use the “service” to repair his computer and that throughout the process he provided 33 gift cards totaling $12,000.

“The online computer repair service then advised the victim that there was illegal data on his computer and that he would be reported to law enforcement unless he sent an additional $11,100.00 to the repair service using a Bitcoin ATM,” police said in a statement.

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When the man attempted to deposit cash into the Bitcoin ATM, the deposit did not work, and he then became suspicious and cut off contact with the fraudster, police said.

Police blotter entries show it is among a series of recent frauds reported to local law enforcement.

On Feb. 2, a resident of Willow Grove Parkway told police that as a result of a fraud, he bought $1,500 in gift cards using his credit card and then provided the gift card numbers to an unknown person, who was pretending to be an Apple customer service employee, police said.

On Feb. 3, a resident of West Broad Street told police that someone contacting him via phone and identifying as law enforcement obtained his personal information and fraudulently accessed $10,000 in the man’s bank account, according to police.

In a presentation before a senior citizens’ group in Westfield recently, police had warned about frauds and presented tips to help residents avoid being scammed. Click here to read those tips.

Westfield Police advise residents to call the department if they feel they are being scammed. The department’s non-emergency number is 908-789-4000, ext. 0. If someone is at their door attempting a scam, residents are asked to call 911.

Email Matt Kadosh at [email protected] | Twitter: @MattKadosh

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