Scammers pose as Microsoft, offer computer ‘fix’

Scams

Dozens of Hawaii residents have recently reported getting mysterious phone calls from schemers posing as Microsoft employees.

Cybersecurity expert Chris Duque says it’s a scam that “has been going on for maybe several years, and it comes and goes.”

Now, it’s back. A Hawaii Kai woman says she got the call.

“(The caller) identified herself as someone calling from Microsoft. She didn’t give a name, and she said that my computer was sending unreported errors was the words that she used, unreported errors to Microsoft,” she said. “I think that because I got suspicious and I asked, how do I know who you say you are and she just hung up. That was like an okay, I got confirmation for me.”

She knew it was a trick. But others fall victim and believe that if they click on the link provided and download a file, they’ll stop a computer threat.

But “those files are actually spyware, malware, or a combination of both, even viruses so that the caller can take control, now can take control of your computer,” Duque said.

With that control, callers can take your information or even demand money in exchange for saving your computers files.

Duque says if you get a similar phone call, just hang up.

Microsoft says it does not make calls like that or offer services you didn’t ask for.

And never give up control of your computer unless you know for certain it is a legitimate service provider.

If you have a consumer concern or are interested in becoming an Action Line volunteer, give us a call at 591-0222, weekdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or send an email to actionline@khon2.com.

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