KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A retired Knoxville man almost became the latest victim of an extended warranty phishing scam.

Larry, a retired electrical engineer, says if he can be fooled, many others can be as well. Scammers have all the answers to your questions. If they can convince half the people they talk with every day, scammers can make quite a living.

Larry received an email about a warrant he had taken out with a big box company last year. Across the country, millions of people purchase warranties for their TVs, refrigerators and other appliances. Larry was no exception.

The Better Business Bureau says because so many people buy extended warranties to protect expensive electronics in their homes, scammers are out to take advantage of them.

“My warranty on equipment I purchased a year ago is expiring and to renew it I need to click on the link. It was a $400 renewal,” said Larry, who chose not to share this last name.

Larry however wasn’t interested in renewing the warranty, so he clicked on the link and received a surprise.

“I get a return email saying, sorry the $400 is already being charged to your credit card and we will reimburse you, please call this number. So I called the number,” said Larry. “About a minute later, he said, sorry, I’m unable to credit your credit card ending in the last four digits that were my credit card. So I assumed since he used the last four digits of my credit card that it was a legit transfer.”

The man on the phone claimed to be from technical support, but he was not.

“And I did not know that. And so he gave me some computer software that I clicked yes allowed him to access into my computer and into my checking account,” he said.

On his computer, Larry has stored several apps for private accounts.

“During the time I notice he is on my computer I see all these apps starting to disappear. He shows me on the screen, this is a secure link. I want you to feel comfortable with this. Look, so he takes his cursor up and he goes to the secure link, and says, yes, this is secure,” said Larry.

Soon Larry became uncomfortable. Realizing it was all a scam, he called his bank.

“Obviously I’m pretty excited, I tell the lady, you got to close my accounts right now. She did. She said, no funds had been transferred and I was okay,” said Larry.

The Federal Trade Commission says warranty scammers often don’t take no for an answer. They’re clever and go with the flow. Remember, Larry said no but the scammer said it’s already been charged. Whatever they claim to be or know about you, don’t click on any strange or suspicious links.

“I should never have allowed somebody to access my computer. That’s what I will say to everybody now. Never, ever allow somebody to access your computer,” said Larry.

Fortunately, Larry got to his bank just in time to prevent the scammer from draining the account. The Better Business Bureau says to read text or email messages carefully. Tell-tale signs are misspellings or grammatical errors, and be wary of urgent instructions to take specific actions.

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One common example is “Click on the link or your account will be closed.” In addition, never allow anyone to access your computer, unless you are completely sure you know that person and trust them.