AG Jackley Warns of Microsoft Technical Support Scam
PIERRE, S.D. - Attorney General Marty Jackley confirms today that the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division has been inundated by consumers who have been targeted by the Microsoft Technical Support scam. Consumers have been receiving phone calls claiming to be from the support center of Microsoft Windows and wanting to gain access to the consumer’s computer in order to make repairs.
“Microsoft and their partners do not make unsolicited calls to computer users. If you receive one of these phone calls, hang up and call my Consumer Protection Division at 800-300-1986,” said Jackley.
Here are a few examples of the many different calls South Dakota consumers have received. A person claiming to be a Microsoft technician calls to confirm an update has been performed by the consumer and has triggered several error messages. Another call claims that Microsoft has been altered and the consumer’s system has serious threat activity and Microsoft needs access to the computer to provide extra protection. Lastly, a call from a purported Microsoft employee regarding a massive upgrade that does not appear to be working on the consumer’s system and immediate access is necessary to complete.
The catch on all of these scenarios is once the scammer is connected to the computer, they either obtain the consumer’s financial information through a fraudulent “pay” website or install malicious software that combs the computer for personal information, such as usernames, passwords, bank and credit card numbers, tax documents and more.
Here are a few tips to avoid being victim in this repair scam:
• Obtain as much information about the caller as you possibly can. Note their name, phone number, time they called and what was said.
• Never give remote access to your computer to any unsolicited caller for any reason.
• If you have caller ID and receive a call from a number you don’t recognize, don’t answer the phone.
• If you do answer one of these calls and have concerns about your computer’s security features, call the manufacturer or take it to a reputable retailer or repair shop to be examined for viruses, malicious software, or corrupted files.
If you are a victim of allowing “Microsoft support” access to your computer, please call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 800-300-1986.