Computer fixes a common target for scam artists

Microsoft will never initiate unsolicited phone calls or web "alert" screen notifications regarding computer repair! Watch out for fake websites claiming a "fix." Check the address bar!

Last year, the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office received several complaints regarding an ongoing scam involving fraud suspects representing themselves as "Microsoft" technical support employees.

These scammers convince their "customers" to spend several hundred dollars as part of the fraud. In recent weeks, YCSO has taken new complaints regarding this scam and would again like to warn computer users of the ploy.

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.

Microsoft officials warn that 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.

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