If Microsoft Calls, Hang Up

NEWPORT, VT - Scammers pretending to be from Microsoft are trying to rip off your computer access information. Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell recently issued a warning to computer owners about a scam in which people receive calls from a "Microsoft" certified technician who will inform you that your computer is badly infected by a virus and you need to take immediate action to fix the problem.The goal of the scammer is to get the victim to log onto a certain website that allows the scammer to take remote access of the computer. The scammer then tries to convince the victims to purchase unneeded software to restore their computer. Once the scammer has remote access, they can retrieve passwords and credit card information, as well as do damage to your computer.This reporter received such a call on Tuesday from the number listed by the AG's office and was given the sales pitch by “Trina.” She identified herself as an employee of Microsoft and offered to fix the problem. When asked if the “fix” would have to be paid for, she initially said no, but later in the conversation offered the sales pitch. For $250, the computer would be fixed and guaranteed for the life of the computer.I declined her offer, and after hanging up called the number back to see if the telephone number is legit. It is a non-working number; what a surprise! Microsoft has issued a warning to consumers stating that they do not call customers about computer viruses and, if you receive a call, hang up.The average loss for victims is $875.