OKLAHOMA CITY – The Better Business Bureau of Central Oklahoma is warning Oklahomans of a widespread tech support scam.
“The person in November called her and said Microsoft called and they actually got into that individual’s computer. They got all of her banking information,” said Kitt Letcher with the Better Business Bureau of Central Oklahoma. “They actually took money from her bank account.”
The so-called “Microsoft” scam is cheating people out of hundreds of dollars to remove this “virus.”
The IT impostor tells you they need to access your computer to remove a virus. That’s when they actually install the virus and then charge you to remove it.
“That’s when they say ‘we’ve detected the virus. It’s going to be $139, $150 to remove this virus.’”said Letcher.
The scammers are able to get onto the victim’s computer and install a virus. All they had to do was gain access remotely through the phone by finding out a little bit of details.
“I can get credit card information,” said Nick Thompson, information technology engineer at KFOR. “I can get into their cookies on their Internet Explorer and Firefox. I can get into their browsing history. Anything that would be typed onto their machine, I can see once they give me access.”
Thompson says there are multiple ways to gain access to your personal device including online sites that take less than a minute to gain control.
But there are ways to protect your device.
- Don’t relinquish control of your computer
- Don’t give financial information over the phone
- Record caller information and report scams to BBB
- Change passwords and place fraud alert on credit report
The scam has gotten so widespread the Better Business Bureau says it’s nearly impossible to find the culprits.
“It just every couple of months it will hit again and it’s not one specific group,” Letcher said. “It’s a lot of different people that use this scam, and I think that’s one of the hardest parts about it. That’s why it’s so difficult to track down who is actually doing this.”
For more information on the scam visit the Better Business Bureau’s website.