Here’s how the scam works:
Microsoft impostors call claiming to have detected viruses or malware on a user’s computers (often perpetrators use public directories to determine a customer’s name or other personal information, which they use to gain a customer’s trust). They then ask for a username or password to fix the problem remotely, but instead trick the target into installing malware that could steal sensitive data. Alternately, a scammer convinces targets to pay for unnecessary repairs to the computer and walks away with a customer’s credit card information.
The Illinois Attorney General released a warning on this scam last week after receiving several complaints from Central Illinois residents receiving fraudulent calls.
“If you receive a call like this, hang up the phone immediately,” Attorney General Madigan said in a press release. “Legitimate companies will not initiate a call to you and ask you for personal information. This is an outright scam.”
Protect yourself! Never give out passwords or personal information (including credit card numbers) over the phone. If a caller pressures you to pay for anything up front, hang up the phone immediately!
For more safety tips, visit the Attorney General’s website.