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Clallam deputies warn area residents of possible computer scam
Deputies of the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office have received several complaints concerning computer fraud over the past couple of days.
Area residents have stated they have received phone calls from unknown persons, some of them identifying themselves as being employees of Microsoft, stating that there were problems with the resident’s computer. The caller states that he can either walk them through fixing it or show them their vulnerabilities.
Although these types of scams are new to the area, they typically are conducted by individuals from outside the United States. These individuals are either trying to get victims to access websites and download programs that contain viruses or get victims to enable remote desktop administration which allows the caller to gain full access to the victim’s computer. Once access is gained by an individual, he would have full access to stored information such as saved passwords, financial information, e-mail, saved pages and any other information stored on the computer.
To prevent this type of fraudulent access to your computers, the Sheriff’s Office offers this advice: Computer companies, Internet companies, financial institutions and other similar companies typically will not proactively call you concerning problems with your computers.
Instead, you will have had to have called them first and they either will put you on hold or call you back. If you have not first called these companies, then it is likely a scam. If you are still unconvinced as to the authenticity, ask for a name of the customer service technician, a work ticket and a call back number. Once you have received this information, hang up the phone and call the company the individual works for and confirm the information you were given over the phone.
Being suspicious is a good thing. If you receive a call such as what has been described, your instincts that it smells bad are likely correct. Politely declining a suspicious service, hanging up or require further proof of legitimacy are all excellent responses.