Scam phone call claims your computer's at risk

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June 06, 2012|By Robert Marin | KWCH 12 Eyewitness News

(WICHITA, Kan.) — A call to your home says your computer may be at risk, but experts say it is a scam.

The Better Business Bureau first warned about what it's calling the "Microsoft" phone scam in March, and it is still going on. In recent weeks Factfinder 12 has received several calls from people who have received a scam phone call.

In the phone call, the scammer claims to be a computer technician and may say they work for Microsoft. The caller tried to trick the victim into taking control of your computer remotely. The call also will ask for credit card information in order to bill you for phony services.

"You're getting a scam," says Robbie Namee of the Better Business Bureau. "You're giving them information (to get) into your computer, especially if you use it for accounting, bookkeeping, and then you're giving them a credit card number. It's nothing but trouble".

If you get one of these calls, do not give the caller any personal information. Instead, ask questions. The Better Business Bureau says often when asked for specifics, the scammer will hang-up. Experts also remind you that legitimate businesses are unlikely to call you out of the blue offering help or services.

"Everyone is looking for a break, to catch a break financially, to catch a break to get repairs done," says Namee. "(People say) hey, this is an easy way to get my computer checked out... well, it's not. It's probably going to make life worse and your computer is going to go crashing probably".

If you did receive a call like this and follow through, experts suggest getting your computer professionally checked for viruses and malicious software. Also, check your bank accounts, credit card accounts and credit report for missing money and unknown charges.

If you have more concerns, call the Better Business Bureau at 1-800-856-2417 or visit their website. You can also contact the Kansas Attorney General's Consumer Fraud division at 1-888-428-8436 or by visiting their website.

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