By Susan El Khoury, Investigative Reporter

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    ST. LOUIS, Missouri (KMOV) — The pandemic has turned more people into online shopping and scammers are taking advantage of this to to steal money from unsuspecting people.

An 84-year-old Jefferson County woman learned that the hard way when she lost $51,000.

“They know exactly what to say, they know how to scare you,” Patricia said. She asked us to only use her first name to hide her identity. “I feel totally stupid and embarrassed to tell the story, really embarrassed, but I thought I want to help other people.”

She says the scam started when she got her computer fixed and days later received a message that appeared to be from the same company.

“I had this little message that it was Geek Squad and I had $423 coming back,” Patricia said. “We had to get into my account which I should have known.”

She says the man on the phone convinced her he needed her bank information to make a deposit. Patricia says he then claimed that she made a mistake and scared her into buying him gift cards and sending him multiple wire transfers, totaling $51,000.

“It just devastated me. I worked until I was 76 years old,” Patricia said. “I feel like I was totally stupid and how could I do something like that, but they were so convincing.”

Rebecca Phoenix is an investigator with the Better Business Bureau. She says the COVID-19 pandemic changed how…

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