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Callers offering to fix your computer taking your identity, money

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MADISON, WI (WSAU) -  Another telephone scam is targeting computer users. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection is warning people about people trying to get you to give them your credit card or bank information to pay for a computer problem you don’t have.

DATCP Albrecht explains the scam. “You’ll get a call out of the blue from someone who will claim to be with one of those major companies, or some sort of generic name like Your Computer Help or something. They’ll tell you that you’ve got a virus on your computer, or you have some other problem with your computer, and that it’s something they can help you with.”

Albrecht says this is entirely a scam. “Microsoft will not call you, nor will Symantec or Adobe, or any of the other companies that get used for this type of scam. None of them are going to call you directly and tell you that you’ve got a problem with your software or that you have a virus or any of the other kinds of ploys that come along.”

Albrecht says the person on the other end of the phone is looking for your money. “It’s usually a couple of hundred bucks. They may ask for credit card information, and there you go. You’ve given them even more information to play with later. They may ask for personal details, and you’ve given them even more, so there is absolutely nothing legitimate about it and there’s no reason to engage these people whatsoever.”

If you think this doesn’t happen close to home, guess again. A caller named “David” tried to get WSAU’s own Raymond Neupert to fall for this scam over the weekend.  He tried to tell Neupert that his computer is full of viruses and he needs to pay a fee by credit card to let them fix it. Neupert didn't fall for it.  “That’s part of the scam, I mean, it’s there to catch people who don’t know much about computers, who may not be aware of this sort of thing. “David” is just a scammer, and I hung up on him.”

Albrecht says, "If you've made the outgoing phone call to a business you know is legitimate, that should just be fine." He says the safest way to be sure your repair shop is legitimate is to take your computer in yourself and ask questions.

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