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Regional BBB Warns Against Phony Tech Support Specialists

Idaho consumers are getting calls from phony tech support specialists wanting access to personal computers as a ploy to steal information, passwords and bank accounts. They pretend to represent Microsoft or Windows, and talk individuals into allowing them remote desktop sharing access, the Better Business Bureau Serving the Snake River Region said in a news release Wednesday.

“(The caller) said they’d been receiving messages from my computer saying there was a problem,” said Donae Thompson of Caldwell, as quoted by the BBB. “He wanted me to open my computer and allow them to show me the errors, problems and viruses that were happening in the computer.”

Thompson challenged the credibility of the call, and the caller asked for his supervisor, who told her where to go on Windows, as if to show a validity of the call.

“That’s when I stopped,” she said. “I thought to myself, ‘What am I doing? I don’t know if these people are really from Microsoft.??

She said that after she challenged the scammers, they changed their story and claimed to be from

She got off the phone and shut down her computer, closing any access to the computer. Most consumers hang up rather than completing the steps, but the tech support scammers often call back, the BBB said.

The BBB gave the following tips: — Microsoft and other computer and software companies do not make unsolicited calls offering tech support. — Do not follow the caller’s instructions. If you need tech support, contact the computer or software company at a number you know to be valid. — Never share personal information, such as bank account and credit card numbers, with anyone you don’t know who contacts you.

If you’ve fallen victim: — Contact your bank or credit card company to dispute the charge for any money you paid. — Immediately run anti-virus and anti-spyware software on your computer. — Monitor your credit report and place a security freeze on your credit, especially if you store sensitive financial information on your computer or use it to bank online.

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