Don't Waste Your Money: Beware of Microsoft PC scam phone calls - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Don't Waste Your Money: Beware of Microsoft PC scam

(WTOL) - No one likes computer problems. If a Microsoft employee calls or sends you an e-mail saying they have detected a problem with your PC, what should you do? The obvious, common 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. The "representative" says the installed version of Windows has a serious problem.

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

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

Wolff said the mystery 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.

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

But Microsoft does not scan home computers. Company officials said this is a foreign scam to sell worthless anti-virus programs, and collect credit card numbers.

What to Do

If you receive a call like this hang up.

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

So 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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