We are bumping this article back to the top as there has been a recent increase of these calls in the NW Florida area. We have one computer in the shop now that has been completely locked and is in danger of having had tax documents tampered with or "stolen. We've had a second customer relate that they have had no less than five phone calls trying to coerce them into letting the Indian sounding caller take control of their computer.  Watch videos and more on our Facebook page on this an other computer scams.

DO NOT ALLOW ANYONE TO REMOTE CONTROL YOUR COMPUTER unless you have called them for help. As shown by the Microsoft link below, legitimate companies do not operate this way. There are links at the bottom of this article to file complaints to the appropriate agencies. If you have already fallen victim to this fraud, you will want to pursue action, change your passwords to everything, and closely watch your accounts and credit report.

From Microsoft http://www.microsoft.com/security/online-privacy/avoid-phone-scams.aspx

Dinners being interrupted by sales calls and political candidates is bad enough but now there's a renewal of a scam that is out for your money and your computer. Calls are being made impersonating Microsoft and possibly other well known companies in an attempt to gain remote access to your computer. The scenario unfolds as follows.

You receive a phone call from someone representing themselves as being from or a representative of a well known company. They indicate that you have viruses on your computer and that they need you to follow their directions to allow them to gain remote control of your computer so that they can clean the computer for you.

A likely outcome is that they will manipulate your system to make it appear that you do have a virus, then offer to clean it for oh my guess is between $29.99 and $89.99. This sounds like an innovative direct attack by the same “company” that weekly changes its name and infects millions of computers acting like an anti-virus product and wanting the aforementioned amounts to clean your computer.

Consider this fact. No company, Microsoft, AVG, Norton, or another will be monitoring your computer from afar and pay someone to call you to take remote control of your computer. If you allow such access you will likely be left with a real virus on your computer allowing them access to your computer indefinitely or worse. Previous victims have found their computers left infected, lost money paid to clean the computer, and some report identity theft to include liquidation of banking and other assets.

No legitimate company will ever call you in this manner. I have no problem in hanging up on any sales or political call, and if we all did they would stop. Unfortunately many people will fall for this and then not take the added steps of reporting it to the authorities. If you get such a call, or find yourself or someone you know that has been victimized, please report it to the following agencies:

 

Your state attorney's office

The Internet Crime Complaint Center IC3

Your local FBI field office