(Lexington, KY) – Have you received a call from someone saying they are with “Microsoft” or “Windows Tech Support,” saying your computer is infected, or in danger of “crashing”? A lot of folks have told your Better Business Bureau serving Central & Eastern Kentucky that they have. This "tech support" scam has been sweeping the country and often targets the Bluegrass.
The caller claims to be with “tech support” from a well-known software company, such as Microsoft. The caller tells you that your computer is sending error messages, and they’ve detected a virus on it. He says only a tech support employee can remove the virus. He instructs you to go to your computer and follow certain instructions that allow him to take “remote control” to “fix” the problem. He will also ask for credit card numbers to pay the fee for their services.
The calls are NOT from Microsoft. They even warn about it on their website. Those who allowed the caller remote access to their computers reported difficulties with their computer afterwards. Some said their computers would not turn on or certain programs/files were inaccessible. Some victims even reported taking their computers for repair, and the technicians confirmed software or malware had been installed. In many cases, it turned out the callers behind this scheme were overseas.
What to do if “Tech Support” Calls?
- Never give control of your computer to a 3rd party unless you can confirm that it is a legitimate representative of a computer support team with whom you are already a customer.
- Never provide your credit card or financial information to someone claiming to be from tech support.
If you did allow a caller to access your computer:
- Change the passwords for your computer, email and online banking/credit card accounts. Run a virus scan.
- Check to make sure you do have adequate firewall and virus protection on your machine.
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Contact the Better Business Bureau serving Central & Eastern Kentucky to check out companies, charities, or to report problems and scams by calling the Lexington office at (859) 259-1008 or toll-free 1-800-866-6668. Services are also available by logging on to www.bluegrass.bbb.org.