July 2, 2013 - Tyler, TX - BBB reports new activity for a phone scam which is making the rounds in which the caller claims to be from Microsoft. The caller offers to repair a wifi network problem or remove a computer virus, all in an effort to gain remote control access to the consumer’s computer.
Consumers in East Texas have contacted the BBB to report receiving a phone callfrom a “Microsoft employee” who told them they ‘detected’ a virus on theircomputer. The callers identify themselves as being from Microsoft tech support,and claim the consumer’s computer has contracted a virus. They then provide theconsumer with instructions on how to get rid of the virus by convincing them toallow remote access to the consumer’s computer.
“Giving an individual remote access to your computer without full knowledge ofwho you’re dealing with can open up a host of identity theft issues, as well asexpose personal financial information”, said Mechele Agbayani Mills, Presidentand CEO of BBB Serving Central East Texas. “In this case, it’s best not to pickup the call at all.”
Cybercriminalsmay claim to be from Windows Helpdesk, Windows Service Center, Microsoft TechSupport, Microsoft Support, Windows Technical Department Support Group, or MicrosoftResearch and Development Team (Microsoft R & D Team). BBB reminds consumersthat neither Microsoft nor its partners make unsolicited phone calls.
BBB advises consumers follow the following tips toprotect themselves from scammers attempting to access their computer:
Go through your service provider directly. If youare concerned your computer may be exposed to viruses or other securitythreats, contact your service provider. Some providers offer free tools thatcan help detect and remove viruses.
Installvirus detection. To help protect your computer from viruses, make sure you havevirus detection software on your computer. This software also can help identifya virus if it appears on your computer.
Investigateunsolicited calls. If caller ID display reads “Unknown”, do not answer. Never give personal information overthe phone to someone you don’t know. If the caller claims there is a securitythreat to your computer, hang up and call your computer company directly.Remember, if the call is important, they will leave a message, and you canchoose whether or not to return the call.
Find acomputer repair company you can trust. Do your homework, and go to www.bbb.orgto find a business you can trust.
Formore tips on how to be a savvy consumer, go to www.bbb.org. To report a fraudor scam, call the BBB Hotline: (903)581-8373.