Sioux Falls, SD
People in KELOLAND are getting calls from someone claiming to be from Microsoft security and that their computer is going to lock up if they don't act fast. But don't buy it. It's just a scam to rob you of your personal information and money.
When Shirley Alby got a call the other day, it caught her off guard.
"He said, 'This is Microsoft security and you have a problem. Your Windows is going to be expiring and if you don't take care of it in 24 hours, your computer will be locked up and you will not be able to use it at all,'" Alby said.
Alby was alarmed, but not completely sold on the story.
"And I remember saying several times throughout this, 'This better not be a scam,'" Alby said.
But the man with the foreign accent on the other end of the line convinced her to turn her computer on.
"So I would know this was not a scam, he gave me all these numbers. So I opened up my computer and I get to a certain page, those are all the exact numbers," Alby said
He proceeded to take control of her machine.
"He walked me through and had me type in some different things. So dummy me, he's now in my computer. And I can see his cursor moving around," Alby said.
"What they do then is what you don't see and they download malware to your computer because they want the really sensitive stuff. If you do any online banking. If you pay any bills on your credit card. If you buy anything online; all that information is stored in your computer and they've got it. And then you're really in trouble because they've stolen sensitive information," Jessie Schmidt of the Better Business Bureau said.
Schmidt says she's been fielding calls from across the region about this Microsoft scam.
"Some of these scams are demanding it on your debit card and they tell you, "Oh, it will be $100 for us to provide this update for you and take all the bad information off your computer.' The next day you check and they've taken $900 out of your debit card account," Schmidt said.
Alby says her caller did ask for money to provide a fix for her computer.
"I said right away, 'I'd throw my computer away for $275,'" Alby said.
"You're not getting a thing, except scammed," Schmidt said.
"You feel so stupid to have been duped, pretty much. I should have hung up immediately," Alby said.
While Alby didn't hand over her credit or debit card information, she is worried she could be the victim of identity theft because the scammers had access to her computer.
For steps to take if your personal information has been compromised in such a scam, visit the South Dakota Consumer Protection website.
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