A new scam is rapidly growing where a con artist claims to work for Microsoft and warns that your computer is infected with a virus that requires remote access to fix. They then convince the user into downloading remote software and connect in. After they play around for a while, they’ll then tell the user that they need to pay a large fee to remove the viruses.
If you don’t pay them, they will totally lock you out of your computer, and in some cases set up a customized boot loader password so you can’t even boot into Windows. Most of the time the scam artist is from outside the country and has a strong foreign accent, and are usually very rude if you deny them in anyway. Even when you pay them, the “scammer” will call back after a very short time and ask for more money. This will keep continuing until they can get as much money as possible, sometimes in the thousands.
Microsoft will not call you if you have a virus. Frankly they could care less and never call and offer to remote in and fix problems. If Microsoft cared about your computer being virus-free, they would take more steps to secure Windows which would be much easier than people assume. They could make the user permissions more restrictive, and provide better built-in protection.
WHAT TO DO IF SCAMMED
Smart people do stupid things when scared. Don’t beat yourself up if you fall prey to these vicious criminals.
Call bank or credit card company and tell them what happened. It’s possible they will refund you the money but at the very least they need to know so they can stop the transactions. (Note: a lot of these scam artists use Western Union which is harder to track.)
If you’ve been locked out you’ll probably need to hire someone to fix up your computer. If you are in the Eugene, Oregon area, we have helped over a dozen people that have been directly hit by this scam. Give us a call for a free estimate at (541) 357-7222
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