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Microsoft scam calls are back

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SCAM ALERT: Consumer group warns about computer repair scam’s return

A computer repair scam is once again hitting Western Virginia consumers (and their hard drives) in a scheme to steal money and personal information.
Multiple consumers have told the BBB in Western VA that they have been contacted by a computer technician claiming to work for Microsoft or a similar-sounding computer company.
Consumers are then told that their computer either has operating problems, viruses, or other issues that need immediate attention.
Microsoft has no connection with these calls and will not call your home to offer virus protection. Calls are aimed at gaining remote access to your computer and collecting exorbitant fees for services.
According to Microsoft, after callers gain access to the computer, they can then install malicious software, steal personal information, take control of a computer remotely or direct consumers to fraudulent websites where they are asked to enter credit card information.
Microsoft’s online safety and security center says that neither Microsoft nor its partners make unsolicited phone calls.
One consumer told the BBB that the caller even placed a message on her screen to read to her credit card company. “The man told me to read ‘I am the owner of this credit card and I want to release these funds for an overseas transaction.’ Unfortunately I did just that.”’
“Always be wary of cold-calls,” says Julie Wheeler of the BBB in Roanoke. “Never grant computer access or provide personal information to someone you don’t know. If they claim there is a security threat to your computer, hang up and call your computer company directly.”
BBB reminds the public to never give personal or financial information to unsolicited callers.
The BBB can be contacted at (540) 342-3455 or (800) 533-5501 or www.bbb.org.