JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Mandarin woman turned the tables on cyber criminals after she received a series of harassing phone calls from scammers posing as Microsoft Windows representatives.
Channel 4 reported last week thieves are calling customers across St. John's, Duval and Putnam counties to try to gain access to their computers and personal information.
Channel 4's Adrienne Moore spoke with a local woman to hear her success story and how she kept her personal information from being compromised.
Crystal Cuzzort said it was one phone call after the next from scammers, and when she finally got fed up she hit record on her iPad and started asking questions.
While she was expecting some of the answers to be lies, Cuzzort said she had no idea just how much of an earful she would get.
A foul-mouthed crook masquerading as a Microsoft employee didn't hold back when he realized Cuzzort was recording his failed attempt at gaining access to her computer.
Scammer: Is this getting recorded?
Cuzzort: Yes, it's being recorded.
Scammer: I'm calling you a (expletive).
Cuzzort: I'm sorry that you feel that way and I'm sorry that Windows hires people...
Scammer: You shut the (expletive) up, man.
Scammer: Shut the (expletive) up, man.
"You were on the phone with this guy for eight minutes when he starts throwing expletives your way and calling you names. What's going through your mind?" asked Moore.
"More than it being kind of funny. It did make me mad and angry knowing that this scam has been out there and you had it on the news, and it's been a big problem and epidemic," said Cuzzort.
The latest phone scam has cyber criminals posing as Microsoft Windows representatives who offer an upgrade or help users get rid of a virus. Instead they trick people into installing malicious software that captures personal information.
But when the caller told Cuzzort the company headquarters was in Cleveland, Ohio, she did her best to trip him up.
Cuzzort: What is the name of your address at your office?
Scammer: The address of my office?
Scammer: Write down 11129 Waverly Road, Apt 1.
Channel 4 looked up the address Cuzzort was given on Google Maps and not only is the address not Microsoft headquarters, the zip code the scammer gave is in Southern California.
"I was really kind of probing him a little bit more to kind of -- because I knew at some point he would ask me, 'Why are you asking all of this?' I was surprised he went on as long as he did," Cuzzort said.
Cuzzort has now posted her recorded call on YouTube to help others manage phone scams like this.
Computer experts said Cuzzort did everything right and encourage others to simply hang up if they get a call from someone claiming to be from Windows or Microsoft.
Experts said it's important to note Microsoft will never call you and ask you for personal information -- such as usernames or passwords -- over the phone.
Cuzzort told Channel 4 she believes it's the same two people calling each time, and said their accents and voices are very distinctive. Cuzzort joked that while she's no FBI agent, she has teenagers and there is no fooling her.