Better Business Bureau (BBB) Serving Central Florida is hearing from local consumers who have received phone calls from individuals claiming to be from “Live Tech Support." Consumers who receive computers, tablets and other tech devices as holiday gifts may be fooled by scammers who call this time of year with alarming security claims.
Often the caller often claims to represent Microsoft® or a “Windows Service” Center. Consumers report that the caller claims “errors” or “warnings” have been discovered on their computer or device.The scammer claims that, if not corrected, the computer will crash or be severely damaged. BBB warns consumers that this is a scam.
BBB President Judy Pepper received one of these calls at 6:00 AM recently. “The scammer had no information about me or my computer. It was a cold call meant to scare the consumer, " said Pepper.The scammer offers to demonstrate the computer problems and fix those problem solver the phone by instructing consumers to follow their commands on the computer. “But in reality, the scammer may install malicious software when they gain remote access to the computer, leaving the computer vulnerable. Or they may request credit card information to bill for computer repair services," Pepper warns.
According to Microsoft’s Safety and Security Center website, “Microsoft does not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer.”
BBB suggests the following tips for consumers to stay safe online: