Aggressive Telephone Scam Targeting Residents

December 7, 2015

Consumer Affairs is warning the public about “an aggressive telephone scam currently targeting a large number of local residents.”

A spokesperson said, “The telephone calls are from individuals [not located in Bermuda] claiming to be from Microsoft advising Bermuda residents that their computers have sent out a “fault” message to Microsoft and need to be repaired remotely. These are hoax calls and the public are advised to hang up immediately.

“The scam is a scheme to steal money and personal information from the consumer’s computer. This is not a new scam as it appeared in 2014 but has been revived in 2015 more aggressively.

“Microsoft has no connection with these calls and will not call your home to offer virus protection. These calls are aimed at gaining remote access to your computer and collecting exorbitant fees for their services.

“According to Microsoft, after gaining access to the computer, these callers can then install malicious software, steal personal information, take control of the computer remotely or direct consumers to fraudulent websites where they are asked to enter their credit card information.

“Microsoft’s Online Safety and Security Center states that neither Microsoft nor its partners make unsolicited phone calls.

“The caller may make the following claims to appear legitimate:

  • Your computer is infected with a virus and it has ‘somehow’ reported that fact to the technical support company.
  • Your computer is infected with a virus and it is sending out spam emails to people.
  • Your computer is ‘somehow’ reporting critical software or hardware errors to the technical support company, or sending out error messages, and it is in imminent danger of breaking or failing.
  • Your Windows Operating System is corrupted and about to fail.

“Consumer Affairs advises residents to follow the following tips to protect themselves from scammers attempting to access their computer:

  • Never grant remote access to your computer to unknown parties. Scammers will ask you to go to your computer in order to access the problem and grant them access. Ignore their instructions. In order to get access they may ask you to enter in codes, instruct you to enter connection data into a form, request that you remove firewalls and other security measures, or ask you for other computer locating information.
  • Install a firewall and anti-virus program to protect your computer and personal information. Update these programs frequently.
  • Update your operating system and web browser software regularly.
  • Protect your passwords by keeping them in a safe place. Create different passwords for each online account that you have.
  • Never give personal or financial information to unsolicited callers.
  • Contact your service provider directly if you are concerned you may be exposed to viruses or other security threats.
  • Do not open or respond to emails or click links from unknown senders; this might infect your computer with malware, or confirm that a spammer has reached a valid address.
  • If you do in fact have a problem, find a computer repair company you can trust.

“Those residents who may have already been taken in by the scam are advised to contact their banks immediately to alert them to a possible breach.”

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Comments (14)

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  1. stunned... says:

    i was aware of the scam prior to receiving such a call. after advising the caller in very small words what they needed to do, they hung up on me.

  2. Sara Sargasso says:

    Please warn everyone you love about these low-life scum and what they do.

  3. Triangle Drifter says:

    I might be inclined to string the caller along. Waste as much of his time as possible before letting him know, in simple easy to understand terms, what he can do.

  4. TT says:

    My mom reveived the call… of course she’s old school, she needed to know what was the purpose of the call and how she got her number – the lady hung up. Lol

  5. Bermy girl says:

    My mom has received 7 calls in a matter of a few days! She is also old school and doesn’t own a computer! I might buy her a whistle to give the callers an earful!

    • aceboy says:

      Get one of those air horns.

      I had a call from one of these jokers. I just hung up. Wish I had an air horn at the time.

  6. Colin says:

    These people are so fun to mess with, I called them one time saying I’m returning a call from them (they never called me) and they are telling me how to fix a Windows computer and around 45 mins in I tell them I have a Linux computer. Boy do they get angry!

  7. Ann says:

    Hopefully no one is dumb enough to fall for something like that!

  8. Ellen Little says:

    They called me today. First off they couldn’t even pronounce my first name properly and then said they were located in Bermuda. I said, “I don’t think so” and my husband said, “its another scam” and we hung up the telephone.

    • Retired says:

      I received a call yesterday morning, might I say after 7 am. The lady wanted me to sit in front of my computer and noted all of the above. I told her that you people do not get tired and that I did not have Windows and hung up the telephone.

  9. Lisa says:

    After the 5th call at some early hour i had fun and played along. the caller gave me a string of letters to “type”. i was real real slow about it pretending i was actually typing. then i was like hold up can i make sure i got that right. then i spelled out some choice words and said I have a Mac u idiot. he was mad as ever. lol.