New twist on Microsoft tech & spoofing call scams

Local

Local consumers are being targeted with new twists on the Microsoft “Windows” tech support scam. 

This scam has an added element of spoofing. 

The scammer claims to be another person or legitimate business by falsifying the caller ID data, thereby gaining an advantage in tricking consumers out of private information.

Sharane Gott, President/CEO of the Better Business Bureau Serving Acadiana, says, “If we quit giving them money they would quit doing it… it’s that simple.  

According to consumers, a “tech support specialist” calls claiming to be from Microsoft Windows.

The caller informs the consumer they have Windows issues or perhaps a virus has been detected on their computer. The caller then offers to remove it. 

“Does Microsoft ever call you?” adds Gott. “Not me, so usually that’s the first giveaway.” 

News Ten reports, “Scammers are so clever nowadays that they’re even using our own information to make it seem like we’re calling ourselves, but we’re not?” 

“If something looks odd or unusual, skeemers and scammers and those crooks say ‘oh this is going to make them answer the phone’ and guess what… it does… so they get more people picking up the phone,” explains Gott. “If they have a chance, then they’re going to spin their tail. There’s more opportunities to skeem and scam. It’s just that simple.”  

The Better Business Bureau adds these spoofed call scams can even come from a local number. 

Gott says, “It’s spoofed, so if you don’t know the number, then let it leave a message and most of the time, they don’t leave messages so you just saved yourself a bunch of time and maybe money.” 

Scammers ask the targeted consumer for money or personal information to help solve the problem. 

“What the difference makes is how much we’re on the ball, how much they’ll call when you’re the most relaxed or you’re most off guard,” adds Gott. 

Here are some tips from the Better Business Bureau regarding this scam: 

  • Remember to screen unknown callers. 

  • Hang up on unsolicited, third party calls claiming you have a computer virus or software issue. 

  • For tech support, verify a company’s contact information or visit a known company’s official website. 

  • Never provide passwords or allow someone access to your computer online or over the phone. 

If you have a scam you’d like me to investigate, feel free to send me an email at smasters@klfy.com

If this scam did target you or if you happened to pay for the scam “services” with a credit card, call your card provider and ask to reverse the charges and change your credit card number. 

As a reminder, Microsoft will never call you. You should always be the one to initiate a call for help at (800) 426-9400.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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