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state govs saying ‘no thanks’ to mystery laptops

state govs saying 'no thanks' to mystery laptopsfrom ap: Even during tight budgetary times, a growing handful of state governors are proving too wary to accept laptop computers that have shown up at their offices this month, unsolicited. The FBI was investigating after the governor's offices in West Virginia, Vermont, Wyoming and Washington state received between three and five laptops — but none had ordered any of them. "They immediately raised a red flag," said Matt Turner, spokesman for West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin. "No one said, 'Hey, we got a free gift.'" The laptops were made by Hewlett-Packard or came from its Compaq brand. The world's leading PC maker said it told law enforcement that it intercepted and turned around similar deliveries ordered for six additional states...

Officials in Washington and Wyoming said those computers had been purchased with credit cards whose account numbers did not match any issued by those states. West Virginia State Police Sgt. Mike T. Baylous declined to comment on how the laptops shipped there may have been paid for. "The State Police and the FBI are working jointly to get to the bottom of why these computers were sent to West Virginia," Baylous said Thursday. Agent Jay Bartholomew, the FBI's supervisory senior resident agent in Charleston, declined to comment Thursday...

"I don't know what's on them, but I'm assuming we didn't receive these as a gesture of goodwill," said Kyle Schafer, West Virginia's chief technology officers. "We take very strong measures to protect ourselves from the outside world." As a result, none of the governor's offices report turning on any of the machines. They instead either shipped them back or handed them over to law enforcement...

West Virginia has become particularly sensitive to potential scams. Earlier this year, someone ran up $475,000 on a state licensing board's phone bill after it mistakenly posted its conference call account codes online. The state's auditor was also tricked into rerouting nearly $2 million meant for vendors into bank accounts set up by what investigators say is a Kenyan-based fraud ring.

#PumpUpThaVolume: November 21, 2019