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Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
Southwest MO
Beware of computer phone scams
December 06, 2013

BEWARE OF COMPUTER PHONE SCAMS

Computer hackers are out there. Many of us know that. They penetrate through corporate-secured internet firewalls, send out URL links and attachments containing malware from clear across the ocean or as near as your next door neighbor and even fabricate infected websites that mirror image ones that we trust. What will they pull next?

While computer phone scams aren’t necessarily new, variations of it are being reported to the BBB on a daily basis.  The original scam had to do with computer errors.  A person claiming to be from Microsoft would call and indicate that their reason for calling was to remove errors off of the person’s computer.  They would ask the person to go to their computer and install a3rd Party program such as “Go To Meeting”.  Doing this would give the caller remote access to the computer.  Then, they would show the person the number of errors on their computer, which quite often would convince the person that the caller was legit and that these errors needed to be removed immediately.  Once the caller has them convinced, they request payment for their services, only the caller never actually corrects any problems. 

Other variations of this scam involve the caller saying that they are with Windows,Technical Support or Internet Explorer.  The lines the callers use are all excuses to gain access to the person’s computer.  Some variations include:

  • “Windows is shutting your account down, due to illegal activity on your computer.  In order to stop this, we need you to go to your computer.”
  • “This is Windows Support calling. You need to turn on your computer. We are receiving reports regarding massive errors on your computer.”
  • “Microsoft is calling. Your computer has errors. Even though you have antivirus protection on your computer, viruses will penetrate it. We need to fix the problem immediately!”
  • “This is Windows calling. We have to shut your computer down because your Validity Code needs renewed.”
  • “Internet Explorer is calling. Your computer has been hacked. We want access to your computer to fix the problem.”

This is just a short list of examples of how hackers try to gain access to your computer via a simple phone call.  The main thing to keep in mind here is that computer support does not make house calls. Hang up the phone and do not give them access to your computer nor share any personal information.

If you are a victim of this scam, turn your computer off immediately and contact someone local, someone reputable to remove the hacker’s control over your personal computer For help in finding a reputable, computer technician, contact your local BBB or visit us at www.bbb.org.