Be wary of calls offering computer support

Microsoft and other companies generally do not contact you about expired warranties or computer viruses

Recently an area resident fell victim to a combined telephone and computer scam. The victim was contacted by someone claiming to be from Microsoft telling the victim their computer software’s warranty was expiring. Further, the caller manipulated the victim into allowing the remote access to the victim’s computer and “proving” that the computer was in need of maintenance.

Through a series of calls, the caller convinced the victim to provide a credit card number in exchange for the maintenance and future protection. A series of charges were then made to the credit card.

Fortunately, the victim became suspicious and contacted the credit card company and cancelled the card and the transactions so no money was lost.

Each time the victim received a call the caller ID showed a different number and geographical location.

You can protect yourself from falling victim to a similar scam by remembering the following points:

  • Microsoft and other companies generally do not contact you about expired warranties or computer viruses.
  • The IRS does not contact taxpayers by phone regarding their tax situation.
  • Always ask for a call-back number to confirm the callers identity, then hang up and call them back if you want to continue the call.
  • Be suspicious of multiple calls coming from different numbers and geographical locations
  • Never give any personal information or credit card numbers to unsolicited or unknown callers.
  • There are legitimate telemarketers out there, but treat each unsolicited call with suspicion until you’re sure it is legitimate. Even then, think twice before buying.
  • If you feel pressured or confused, hang up.
  • Do your best to ignore repeated calls. Scam callers will only try a few times before giving up and moving to the next potential victim.

Feel free to contact law enforcement with questions about any calls that appear fraudulent. If you feel you have been a victim of Internet crime, contact the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center at http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx