North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services
TO NC SENIOR CONSUMER FRAUD TASK FORCE MEMBERS
About ten days ago, Task Force members Margrita Harrison and Dorothy Strickland with the Attorney General’s Tel-Fraud Unit began to receive reports from consumers about alarming phone calls from persons claiming to be tech support specialists with Microsoft. The Attorney General issued the following warning on Friday when it became clear that the calls were persisting and that similar calls had plagued consumers in other English-speaking countries recently.
Need tech support? Beware of the latest telemarketing scam, warns AG Cooper
Scammers posing as Microsoft tech support attempt to steal your information, money
Raleigh: North Carolina consumers have reported getting calls from phony tech support specialists who are out to access their personal information and steal their hard-earned money, Attorney General Roy Cooper warned today.
“Be suspicious of anyone who calls out of the blue offering to fix a problem with your computer,” Cooper said. “If you need assistance with your computer, seek out real help rather than responding to these calls.”
More than a dozen North Carolinians have called Cooper’s Consumer Protection Division in the last two weeks to report suspicious calls from phony tech support specialists claiming to be partners with Microsoft or Windows.
According to reports from consumers, the phony tech specialist claims that the consumer’s computer has a virus and that they can fix the problem. The caller then directs the consumer to take a series of steps, supposedly to get rid of the computer virus. Some consumers are asked to locate "Computer Options" on their computer, go to www.windowsonlinesupport.com, scroll down the page and run a scan on their computer.
Following the steps actually gives the phony tech specialist access to all of the data stored on the consumer’s computer. At this point, the scammer may demand payment for installing “security software.”
Consumers report that the callers have South Asian accents and are calling from a call center with a lot of background noise. Most consumers hang up rather than completing the steps, but the tech support scammers often call back.
The calls seem to target seniors and other consumers who may not be as technologically savvy.
If you receive one of these phony tech support calls, keep the following tips in mind:
If you’ve fallen victim to this or a similar scam:
Consumers who have questions or may have fallen victim to this scam should contact Cooper’s Consumer Protection Division. Call 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or file a consumer complaint online at www.ncdoj.gov.
******End of Alert******
Date: November 7, 2011
David N. Kirkman
NC Senior Consumer
Fraud Task Force
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