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SCAM ALERT: Caller pretends to be from Microsoft


Published: Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013 --- 10:30 p.m.

Scammers aren't just targeting people's wallets. Now they're also monitoring online activity--at least that's what they want you to think.

It's referred to as the "Microsoft Scam." The intention is to trick people into thinking there's a problem with their computer so that they'll pay the scammer to quickly fix it.

The scammers will call and say they're from Microsoft. They'll then say they've been monitoring their potential victim's computer and see that there are a lot of errors. They'll even walk through over the phone these examples of errors on the computer to try to prove they can see what's on the screen.

In reality, Bryan Raasch with the Computer Hospital in McFarland says they're using basic information that's the same on all computers, and that any computer savvy person would know.

"The one that I've heard the most is that when they actually tell you to type in something to bring up the event viewer on your computer," Raasch said. "In the event viewer on your computer, almost 100 percent of the time you're going to find errors no matter what. Those errors can be related to absolutely nothing, nothing that's going to impact your computer at all. But it's something that can be a red flag for somebody that has no experience with computers."

Raasch says he receives complaints from customers every week about this particular scam. Scammers have even tried to trick him.

Raasch says he's never heard of Microsoft calling anyone out of the blue.

On the flip side, he also warns people, if they think their computer does have a problem, be careful about searching for help on the internet. Raasch says a lot of scammers also pose, for example, as Apple online to try to get money.


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