Beware, phone offers to fix your computer are a scam
Internet scammers who have worn out their welcome in the U.S. are now hitting American Samoa promising to ‘fix’ your computer remotely.
This cold-calling scam first surfaced a couple of years ago. But Microsoft says people are now falling victim to it every day, as it can be very convincing.
HOW THE SCAM WORKS
A telemarketing style caller rings your phone number and when you answer he says with a heavy Indian accent that he is with Microsoft Tech Support and says he ‘notices’ your computer is having a lot of problems with viruses.
The caller explains that Microsoft, during a routine scan of your system, found problems that were slowing it down and if you let him take control of your computer he can solve the problem for you.
You are then directed to a webpage where a ‘test’ shows your computer overrun with viruses — hundreds of ‘errors’ and ‘critical alerts.’
Then he hits you with his pitch that he can remove them for $100 charged to your credit card.
One person Samoa News was told about caught on to the scam at this point, but refused to pay — and he was locked out of his own computer by the scammer.
So beware of this — whether they say they are Microsoft or not, if someone calls you and wants to ‘fix’ your computer remotely, hang up immediately.
The U.S. Better Business Bureau alerted consumers to this scam in April saying, according to Microsoft, once these scammers have access to your computer they can install malicious software, steal personal information, take control of the computer remotely or direct consumers to fraudulent websites where they are asked to enter their credit card information.
Microsoft’s Online Safety and Security Centre states that neither Microsoft nor its partners make unsolicited phone calls.
Here are some of the organizations that the cyber-criminals claim to be from:
· Windows Helpdesk
· Windows Service Center
· Microsoft Tech Support
· Microsoft Support
· Windows Technical Department Support Group
· Microsoft Research and Development Team (Microsoft R & D Team)
Be alert, don’t trust cold calls. Never give out personal information over the phone, to someone you don’t know. If the caller claims there is a security threat to your computer, hang up right away and consult with a computer repair person from a known source.