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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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6/13/2013 2:47:00 PM
'Microsoft' repair phone scam back again

YAVAPAI COUNTY -- Last year, the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office received complaints about an ongoing scam involving fraud suspects representing themselves as "Microsoft" technical support employees. The scammers convince their "customers" to spend several hundred dollars as part of the fraud. In recent weeks, YCSO has taken new complaints regarding this scam.

The current phone scam uses a trick of a fake antivirus software scam circulating the Internet, also known as "scareware," which tricks users by displaying a fake virus attack. Microsoft officials warn that a live phone version of the scam involves suspects who call and impersonate help desk engineers from legitimate software companies on their behalf. The scammers pretend to warn users their PCs could be infected with mal-ware and offer a free security check. The suspects will "cold call" their victims and create a sense of urgency that a computer fix is critical.

In reality, the scammers trick victims into allowing them to remotely access the user's computer and download mal-ware. The scammers then ask for a credit card payment from the user to continue the "repair," which usually involves downloading fake security software to delete the mal-ware the scammer just installed. Remember, in most cases the scammers can see your personal data also.

This scam has mainly affected seniors and those new to computing who believe they are speaking to a Microsoft representative. Some calls can last hours and will always involve payment for "services." Most of the suspects in this scam are located overseas even though caller ID information may display common U.S. phone numbers. See for more details from Microsoft.

Taylor Waste

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Article comment by: Billie Helm

I received a call from a person with a strange accent saying my computer had been hacked. He was supposedly from Windows Microsoft and he would help me protect my computer from any other hackers. I did go to my computer and observed screens showing warnings and errors to which the person would moan and tell me how bad the situation was. Thankfully I soon realized that this could be the hacker and told him so as I hung up the phone and quickly logged off my computer. BE AWARE

Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Article comment by: deanne faust

This article reminds me of the call I got claiming he was with Microsoft and he was calling to let me know there's a virus in my computer that's been sending alerts to their sytem. LOL! What a scam! Why would Microsoft call me when I got a Mac in the first place? Surely, Microsoft doesn't handle that.

Posted: Friday, June 14, 2013
Article comment by: Never Go To Your Computer....

from a cold call on the phone. I received one of these calls about a month ago. Fortunately, my landline is in another room from my computer. When the caller became indignant that I could not talk to him and be on the phone at the same time (about 30 secs into the call) I realized it was scam, told him so and hung up.
Believe me, if your computer has a problem, you won't learn about it on a "cold call" on the phone.

Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Article comment by: panampilly mahendran

Similar type of scam is also going on the in the name of"dish-net work". Someone with an Indian accent call you and recommend you to upgrade the dish network programs if you pay money for 6 months in advance by cash($240 for 6months, cheaper rate). They will ask you to send the money by Western Union to an address 8683 Georgia ave, silver spring MD20910. They are also one guy in the name of Raj with a telephone number 828-523-4994 call you saying he is from Dish net work and asking for personal information. Few people in Cottonwood area had fallen into their scam.

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