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Officials warning about new ‘tech support’ scam targeting Oklahomans

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Authorities in Oklahoma are warning residents about a scam that targets your financial information.

The Oklahoma Better Business Bureau of Central Oklahoma says it has started receiving calls from Oklahomans about a scam involving “tech support” employees installing viruses on a victim’s computer.

Authorities say a victim will get a telephone call from someone claiming to be with tech support from a well-known company, like Microsoft.

The caller says the victim’s computer is sending error messages and they’re detecting a virus on the device.

The scammer will tell customers that a tech support employee is the only one who can remove the virus but they first need access to the computer.

If the victim approves, the caller will run a scan and point out how the virus has infected the computer.

They will then offer to remove the virus for a fee and ask for credit card information.

According to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center, victims who allowed the caller remote access to their computers, whether they paid for the virus to be removed or not, reported difficulties afterwards.

“Usually with this scam, the ‘tech support’ employees just get credit card information, but now they’re getting access to a victim’s computer and installing harmful viruses,” said Kitt Letcher, president and CEO of BBB. “Oklahomans should be wary of anyone trying to gain access to their computer over-the-phone and should never give out financial information.”

If you get one of these calls, authorities say you should do the following:

- Don’t relinquish control of your computer- Never give up control of your computer unless you can confirm it’s a legitimate representative of a computer support team. Do not purchase any software or services that will allow them to take control of your computer remotely.

- Be wary of providing your financial information- You should rarely, if ever, provide credit card information over-the-phone, especially to anyone claiming to be from “tech support.”

-Record caller’s information- Take the caller’s information and report it to authorities, the BBB and the Federal Trade Commission Complaint Assistant website. Officials at Microsoft say they do not make unsolicited phone calls to charge customers for computer security or software fixes.

- Protect yourself and your computer- If you allowed a caller to access your computer, immediately change the passwords for all of your accounts. Also, run a virus scan and consider placing a fraud alert on your credit report.