Milwaukee, Wis. – The Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin (BBB) is alerting consumers of a phone scam in which the caller claims to be from Microsoft or other companies “Tech Support” departments. The caller informs you that you have a computer virus and offers to fix it, all in an effort to gain remote control access to your computer.
Those who allowed the caller remote access to their computer reported difficulties with their computer afterwards. Some said their computers suddenly had viruses, or particular software programs were no longer accessible.
Reports to the BBB of this scam have been frequent for the last several weeks, indicating this old scam has resurfaced again. Most consumers reported taking their computers for repair following the phone call.
Computer firms such as Microsoft do not make unsolicited phone calls to consumers to report computer problems or viruses, nor do they offer to diagnose and fix problems via telephone.
“We are concerned with the increase in reports from consumers that they lost money to these unknown scammers”, says Ran Hoth, CEO/president of the Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin. “If you receive such a call, the best advice is to say no and hang up.”
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), they’ve been cracking down on these scams and they continue to investigate and prosecute them.
If you paid for a bogus tech support service with a credit card, call your bank or credit card provider immediately to dispute the charge.
What you should do if you receive a “Tech Support” call:
- Don’t trust cold calls. Never provide your credit card or financial information to anyone, over the phone that you don’t know.
- Take the caller’s information and report it to local law enforcement authorities and the FTC.
- Install virus detection to help protect your computer from viruses.
- Find a computer repair company you can trust. Find a BBB Accredited Business by business category at bbb.org.
For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.wisconsin.bbb.org or 414-847-6000 (metro Milwaukee), 920-734-4352 (Appleton), 608-268-2221 (Madison) or 1-800-273-1002 (elsewhere in Wisconsin). Consumers also can find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBB on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping consumers find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2012, consumers turned to BBB 124 million times for Business Reviews on more than 4.5 million companies and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for 113 local, independent BBBs across the United States and Canada, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution and industry self-regulation.