Don't Waste Your Money: Microsoft scam targets you by phone - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Don't Waste Your Money: Microsoft scam targets you by phone

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(Toledo News Now) -

Many of us receive unwanted phone calls offering credit cards, magazines, and other things we don't want. In most cases, we say, "no thanks" and hang up. But there's a convincing phone scam that's snaring a lot of people right now.

Computer security companies are issuing a nationwide alert regarding phone calls that appear to come from Microsoft. It's an update on a scam from about a year ago that is once again targeting computer owners.

No one likes computer problems. So if Microsoft calls or sends you an e-mail saying they've detected a problem with your PC, what should you do? The obvious answer to fix it is wrong. 

Sir, We Have Found A Problem 

Many computer users have received a strange call lately from someone claiming to be from Microsoft. They say your installed version of Windows has a serious problem. 

"They wanted me to purchase this program that would remove the trojans, the viruses, the worms, everything," said Susan Grabow.

Tina Wolff runs a computer repair shop called My Geek Station. Several of her clients have received the call and even fell for it.

"They are calling about Windows errors," she said. "Everybody has Windows errors. So immediately you are listening." 

Wolff says the caller claims Microsoft routinely scans PCs through home Internet connections for problems. It sounds convincing. 
     
"Over the last couple of weeks, I've had four to five customers tell me they've received this phone call," Wolff said. "One man said he actually let them into his computer and gave them his credit card information." 

Only after the so-called "repair session" do you learn the price. 

"He spent an hour on the phone, and at the end of the hour, they told him they were going to charge him $300," said Wolff. 

But Microsoft does not scan home computers. The company says it's a foreign scam to sell worthless anti-virus programs and collect credit card numbers. 

What To Do 

If you receive a call like this, say you're not interested and hang up. 

Wolff's advice: Never allow anyone who calls access to your computer or credit card. 

Remember, no one is monitoring your computer remotely.

Be careful of any e-mail, pop up, or phone call warning of a problem with your computer. That warning may be the problem.

That way you don't waste your money.

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