Jim Hegarty, with the Better Business Bureau, is warning Iowans to beware as it’s a scam, often involving con artists claiming to be with a company called Team Viewer.
“Somebody that claims to be representing Microsoft, they’ve detected malware on your computer, they need to log on remotely so you give them access to your system so they can analyze the situation,” Hegarty says. “People will give them this access, which is mistake number one.”
The next mistake, he says, is giving them permission to fix something on your computer that’s not really broken.
“Once they’re in your system, they’ll say they’ve identified the problem and it’ll be like $399 to get it cleaned up,” Hegarty says. “Of course, you’re always able to put that on a major credit card.”
No matter how good the story may sound, he says not to believe it and certainly don’t give them any personal financial information or computer passwords.
“Not only have you allowed them remote access into your system and Lord knows what they’ve done when they’re in there, you’ve also given them access to your credit card information,” Hegarty says. “Very typically, we’ll almost immediately begin to see unauthorized charges being made with those cards that people have given to them.”
Hegarty says if you get one of these calls, the BBB wants to hear about it. You can log on to www.bbb.org to report the scam or call it in. He says they have “first responders” ready to help.