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Section A: General News


Don’t become a victim, avoid ‘Microsoft scam’




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Wilson County News
July 2, 2014 | 2,865 views | 6 comments

Whatever you do, don’t press the Windows key and “R”; you’ll open your computer to scammers.

That’s the advice from Darlene Keister of Floresville. Though she’s usually cautious with callers offering services, she fell prey to a “Microsoft scam” and wants to warn others, so they don’t lose money, too. She ultimately paid a price for her naivete, shelling out more than $400.

Recently, Keister was having trouble with her computer. As she wrestled with the technology, she received a phone call from “Online Technical Services,” advising they were contractors for Microsoft. The caller said her computer was sending error messages, and they could show her where the errors were.

All she had to do was press the Windows button and “R.” This gave the caller remote access to her computer.

To “clean up” her system and “prevent” further issues, the caller convinced Keister to purchase a three-year “contract” for several hundred dollars. Within about six hours, they advised her system was “clean.”

Over the following weekend, however, the caller contacted Keister again, requesting further access. This time, Keister was suspicious.

She contacted her credit union to stop payment on the “contract,” but was advised she was too late; the transaction had already gone through.

Her credit union’s fraud department provided a contact number for Microsoft. Keister contacted the software giant, whose technicians detected and removed the malware installed by the scammers, which included keyboard tracking. This cost her more than $100.

“I just don’t want anyone else to fall for the same thing,” Keister said.

The Federal Trade Commission offers this advice: If you get a call from someone you don’t know who is trying to sell you something you hadn’t planned to buy, say “No thanks.” And, if they pressure you about giving up personal information -- like your credit card or Social Security number -- it’s likely a scam. Hang up and report it to the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP or visit ftc.gov/complaint.

Advice from Microsoft

Microsoft is aware the company’s name is being used for scams.

According to microsoft.com/security, “If someone claiming to be from Microsoft tech support calls you:

•Do not purchase any software or services.

•Ask if there is a fee or subscription associated with the ‘service.’ If there is, hang up.

•Never give control of your computer to a third party unless you can confirm that it is a legitimate representative of a computer support team with whom you are already a customer.

•Take the caller’s information down and immediately report it to your local authorities.

•Never provide your credit card or financial information to someone claiming to be from Microsoft tech support.”
 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
PRAIRIE GROUCH  
GRAND PRAIRIE TX  
July 9, 2014 12:20am
 
Regardless of age, a fool and his money soon part.

 
New Guy  
Wilson County  
July 8, 2014 10:46pm
 
Can't fix stupid... Just hang up.

 
Facts only please  
TX  
July 8, 2014 10:44pm
 
Windows key and the "r" is completely harmless. It can't hurt your computer. It is the commands you enter afterwards could do harm. Another person trying to stir up trouble without investigating the facts.

 
Wanda  
LaVernia  
July 8, 2014 10:32pm
 
Can I share this article on my FB or LaVernia On Line Garage Sale. Think these scammers may be making their rounds here in the Wilson County Area. Do I have to ask the paper for permission to share this article or with the writer.

 
Wanda  
LaVernia  
July 8, 2014 7:30pm
 
I also got this phone call telling me that my computer was infected and that they worked for Windows. Just so happen I was in my car and not in front of my computer. But, I figure it was a scam. Plus I got ahold of my son ... More ›

 
Something-To-Say  
Wilson County  
July 3, 2014 9:56am
 
Great advice!

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