ON YOUR SIDE: Scammers pretend to call from Microsoft - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

ON YOUR SIDE: Scammers pretend to call from Microsoft

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Don't fall prey to a new scam targeting computer owners! Thieves are calling and pretending to be from Microsoft tech support. It's yet another way to try and steal your personal information. If you get a call claiming to be from Microsoft, or any other company, just hang up.

Scammers are popping up like weeds, and because they mostly operate from foreign countries, forget about catching them.

The story sounds believable.

"I didn't think anything about it," said Vanessa Lee. She experienced the scam herself.

She said it began with a phone call.

"Saying they were from Microsoft, what their name was, saying that they had been receiving a lot of error messages from my computer," Lee told us.

The person then told Lee she had a virus, but he could fix it. The scammer walked her through all sorts of trouble-shooting techniques, before asking her to link up to a legitimate site that would allow him to access her computer, and personal information. Then, he asked for even more.

"He said, 'What I need to do is purchase the extended warranty through us and it was only going to be $10 for 2 years or $15 for 3 years,'" she said.

She gave him her debit card number and stepped away from the computer only to notice minutes later, an open window - showing a wire transfer from her bank account to India.

"We're lucky I came back and looked at the computer to see what it was doing, or I wouldn't have known," Lee said.

She immediately contacted the wire transfer company and stopped it before money was stolen from her account.

These type of scam complaint calls have more than doubled.

"What people need to be made aware of is Microsoft and Norton are not going to call you and tell you you have a virus," said fraud specialist Beth Schell.

The Lee family learned a lesson.

"I'd like to tell him off, would you treat your grandmother that way?" Lee said.

Bogus calls seem to be in vogue right now, but scammers will operate by any means necessary to get your money. Their trickery could show up by email, instant messaging or regular mail.

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