A scam call attempting to gain access to computers and get money from unknowing internet users that has been targeting victims for several years continues to trick consumers.
According to Microsoft, the scammer reaches victims by phone or with a pop-up. The pop-up will show warning messages and give a phone number to call to get a fake problem fixed. A caller may claim to be from Microsoft tech support.
The person may attempt to get credit card information in exchange for fake anti-virus software. The scammer could also trick the victim into installing malicious programs or talk the victim into giving them remote access to the computer, Microsoft said.
According to Microsoft, once the scammer has access to the computer, they can download software and adjust settings that can leave the computer vulnerable.
According to Microsoft’s website, the company “will never proactively reach out to you to provide unsolicited PC or technical support. Any communication we have with you must be initiated by you.”
The website also notes legitimate pop-ups will never include a phone number.
If you believe you have fallen victim to a scam, visit microsoft.com/en-US/reportascam to make a report. Microsoft also recommends changing the computer’s password, your main email account password and the passwords of any financial accounts. Victims should also run a program to check for malware installed on the device.
For more information on avoiding scams that use Microsoft’s name, the company has a website detailing possible scams.