The Michigan City Police have received complaints regarding an ongoing scam involving fraud suspects representing themselves as "Microsoft" technical support employees.
Seniors and less savvy computer owners believe that their computers are regulated or taken care of by "Microsoft".
These scammers convince their "customers" to spend several hundred dollars as part of the fraud.
The current phone scam employs similar tricks to that of a fake antivirus software scam circulating the internet, also known as "scareware," which tricks users by displaying a fake virus attack.
In Michigan City a live phone version of the scam involves suspects who call and impersonate help desk engineers from legitimate software companies on their behalf.
The scammers then pretend to warn users their PCs could be infected with malware and offer a free security check. The suspects will "cold call" their victims and create a sense of urgency that a computer fix is critical.
In reality, the scammers trick victims into allowing them to remotely access the user's computer and download malware. The scammers then ask for a credit card payment from the user to continue the "repair," which usually involves downloading fake security software to delete the malware the scammer just secretly installed.
This scam has mainly affected seniors and those new to computing who believe they are actually speaking to a Microsoft representative. Some calls can last hours and will always involve a "Green Dot" credit card payment for "services." Most of the suspects in this scam are located overseas even though caller ID information may display common U.S. phone numbers. Take the time to warn those less computer savvy family and friends about this scam.
Microsoft will NEVER initiate UNSOLICITED phone calls or emails regarding computer repair!