Computer Scam Spreading Like A Virus - WSPA.com

Computer Scam Spreading Like A Virus

Posted:
By Diane Lee

Art Crider, an engineer in Spartanburg, used to get annoyed by all the marketers and scammers that called his landline.

But now he has a sense of humor

"After a while you'll talk to 'em," he said, laughing.

His humor, coupled with curiosity led him to explore a call this week from someone claiming they were with Microsoft's security team.

"The guy comes on very seriously and says your computer is sending out to our computer, it's communicating with our servers and you have been or are being hacked right now."

The caller told Crider he could prove it.  He had him follow steps to the hard drive's Application Event Viewer, pointed out all the error messages, and told him it was a sign he had a virus.

In reality, those error messages are common and have nothing to do with a virus. 

Crider says the caller then tried to get him to download a program on his computer that would give them remote access so they could supposedly fix the problem.    

Experts warn, once the callers gain access to your computer they can log your keystrokes for months, stealing your passwords... all without you ever knowing they're watching.

Crider knew better.

"You give them the keys to the front door and say come on in," he said.

But the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs says a lot of people don't. 

"we've gotten several complaints from people who have fallen for it. The reason why is because when you have a problem or a program crashes, often times it will say let us send an error report to microsoft, and I think that's why people think that it really is microsoft calling."

The agency says this scam is growing more prevalent.  Crider hopes by speaking out he can stop others who may not be as tech savvy from falling victim.

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