The Monroe Police Department has received several calls regarding an apparent telephone scam. In these incidents, the prospective victim receives an unsolicited call claiming to be from Microsoft or a company that sells computer anti-virus services. The caller requests remote access to the prospective victim’s computer in order to fix a problem.
In all of these cases, the calls have been unsolicited. None of the prospective victims have noticed any problems with their computers prior to receiving a call. All of the prospective victims who reported calls were suspicious and have not given the access solicited. A few did not even own a computer. It is not known how many persons may have unknowingly given the access.
By gaining access to your computer, the scammer would be able to access any confidential files and personally identifiable information on your computer. If a prospective victim used their computer to do their banking for example, these accounts could be accessed. Information like a prospective victim’s social security number is at risk.
The Police Department cautions citizens not to give computer access to anyone soliciting the access, whom the person had not contacted themselves. No company like Microsoft, or an anti-virus company, would randomly contact persons seeking access to their computer, nor to anyone who had not contacted them first.
Much like the scams where the potential victim is told they’ve won an international lottery that they had never entered, or are contacted by the head of a foreign government that they have never met, seeking to hide the assets of that country for a reward, it is best to follow that old adage, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t.”
Persons are encouraged to contact their local law enforcement agency regarding these calls.
Frederick A. Kelley, Chief of Police