Hang up! BBB warns of scammers calling Hoosiers about computer issues

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Better Business Bureau is warning Hoosiers about scammers claiming to be from Microsoft.

The caller says your computer has a problem but they can fix it over the phone by walking you through some steps. After gaining your trust, they eventually want to either gain access to your computer by remote access or get your credit card number.

“Be rude and hang up!” said Central Indiana BBB President and CEO Tim Maniscalo. “You don’t want to have that phone connection going for any length of time at all.”

One Florida woman recorded her conversation with a scammer and posted it online.

The man on the other end of the phone says, “We are calling from the computer department ma’am, the Windows computer department and we need to get rid of all the viruses you have in your computer.”

Microsoft has created a webpage about the scam.

It says, “Neither Microsoft nor our partners make unsolicited phone calls (also known as cold calls) to charge you for computer security or software fixes.”

The site says 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.

The site says callers may claim to be from:

  • Windows Helpdesk
  • Windows Service Center
  • Microsoft Tech Support
  • Microsoft Support
  • Windows Technical Department Support Group
  • Microsoft Research and Development Team (Microsoft R & D Team)

If you get a call, report it to the BBB at (317) 488-2222 or 1-866-463-9222 and the Indiana Attorney General’s Office at 1-888-834-9969.

If you fall victim to the scam, contact Microsoft and change all your passwords right away.