BBB of Central New England has seen an increase in reports of a classic phone scam where by the caller alerts you to a computer virus and offers to fix it remotely while you are on the phone. Often times the caller claims to be a Microsoft employee. The scammer will give you instructions, acting as though he is helping you remove the virus, when in fact by following their instructions, you are giving the scammer full remote access to your computer. Following through with the process leaves your personal information, financial information and files vulnerable. Once the scammer has access to your computer, they are able to install malicious software, steal information or direct consumers to fraudulent websites to steal financial information.
Microsoft or its partners do not make unsolicited phones to consumers. BBB of Central New England advises consumers follow these tips to help protect themselves from this type of scam:
· Go through your service provider directly. If you are concerned your computer may be exposed to viruses or other security threats, contact your service provider directly. Some providers offer free tools that can help detect and remove viruses.
· Install virus detection. To help protect your computer from viruses make sure you have virus detection software installed on your computer. This software can also help identify if a virus appears on your computer.
· 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 and call your computer company directly.
· Find a computer repair company you can trust. Go to bbb.org to find a BBB Accredited Business you can trust.