Tifton Gazette


May 19, 2014

Beware of Microsoft scam phone calls


The public is warned to beware of a scam involving someone claiming to be with Microsoft.


Lt. Lee Dunston with the Tifton Police Department said a citizen called and asked him about an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be with the IT department of Microsoft. He claimed that the citizen’s computer was sending some sort of information and needed to be fixed. The caller gave instructions on some things to do on the computer and the citizen became suspicious.


"I checked Snopes.com and found that this is very possibly a variation on a scam that goes back to at least 2009," Dunston said. "Snopes also says that Microsoft does not make unsolicited calls."


He said, "If someone calls you and starts telling you to press buttons and enter commands on your computer, don’t do it."


He said there are several variations ranging from the scammer trying to access accounts to trying to sell useless software, according to Snopes.com.


According to www. microsoft.com, scammers may claim to be from the Windows help desk, service center or technical department support group, or from Microsoft’s tech support or research and development team.


The site recommends that if someone calls claiming to represent Microsoft, you should not purchase any software or services. Ask if there is a fee or subscription associated with the “service” being offered. If there is, hang up immediately.


Do not give control of your computer to a third party unless you can confirm that it is a legitimate computer support team with whom you are already a customer.


Never provide your credit card or banking information to an unknown person.


If you have already given your information to such a caller, change your computer’s password, change your e-mail password and change the password to any financial accounts, particularly your credit and bank cards.

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