Innocent woman confronted by fraud victims who suspect her of ripping them off
(KUTV) Adrian Kelsey says it began with a phone call. On the line was a woman from Phoenix - and she was mad.
"She said she'd been scammed," Adrian said.
The caller had been duped into sending money to a crook she connected with online. The victim traced the IP address.
"She found our house, on our street - led her right to me," she said.
A short time later, Adrian got a visitor in the middle of the night. It was another victim of fraud who claimed to have traced her IP address to her front door.
"It was terrifying,” she said. “It's weird and it's scary."
Terrifying and also perplexing because she says she never ripped anybody off. So why do these people keep popping up and how can she stop it?
There are a number of services online that purport to be able to help you track down an IP address to a physical location. But the addresses tend to be general. For example, when we searched for an IP address associated with KUTV, we found it traced back to Salt Lake City – but didn’t list KUTV’s address.
But even if these fraud victims are somehow able to get a more accurate address, why are they getting Adrian's? For the answer, we turned to computer expert and XMission founder and president Pete Ashdown.
"Usually when that happens, it's that somebody high jacked her computer,” he said. “Keep your computer clean.”
Ashdown says make sure your computer is operating with all of the updates and patches that Apple, Microsoft and other computer operating system programmers frequently put out. Also, make sure your home computer and other electronics are secured with good passwords and pass-phrases.
A hacker can high jack your computer by tricking you into installing some sort of computer virus or malware that lets a crook basically use your computer without you knowing about it.
Another explanation could be what is called IP spoofing. That's where the bad guy disguises his or her IP address and makes it look like another one, so that the crook can't be tracked down to their own IP address.
As for Adrian, she says she hasn’t been harassed in several weeks and hopes that means she’s done hearing from angry victims of fraud.