8 on Your Side: Microsoft Scam Resurfaces in Southern Nevada - 8 News NOW

8 on Your Side: Microsoft Scam Resurfaces in Southern Nevada

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LAS VEGAS - An old scam is resurfacing in southern Nevada. Scammers call unsuspecting people to warn them about problems with their computers that don't exist.

On its face value, this scam is totally unbelievable. Why would anyone call you to see if your computer is running properly?

That's how this scam works, however, and Las Vegas resident Wayne Poniwaz almost became its latest victim.

Late one night while on his computer, he received a call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft. The caller said Poniwaz's computer was running slowly.

"I thought, ‘Well, how would you notice that my computer is running slow?'" he said. "But, I went along with it, and they said, ‘Your warranty is expired on your software, and we'd like to check and see if you have the software we are looking for.'"

The caller sent Poniwaz through a series of steps. The caller asked him to push certain buttons, allowing the caller access to Poniwaz's computer. Before Poniwaz pushed the button to give control, he thought better of it.

"I said, ‘I don't think this is legitimate. I don't know what you are trying to do here,'" he said. "They said, ‘You need to give us this number, because your computer is going to break down, and you won't be able to use it anymore.'"

The scammer's scare tactics didn't work on Poniwaz, and he hung up.

This is known as the Microsoft or Windows scam. Someone calls you - usually from a number that shows up on caller ID in one of three ways: "v5152358030054", "6752 6752" or "6752".

Once you give the caller control of your computer, they can hack into your accounts. The caller may also ask for your credit card number to do the repairs. Either way, you become the victim of this scam.

While this scam has been around since 2010, Microsoft representatives say they have seen it more frequently in recent months. The reason is people continue to fall for it, and it is extremely profitable for the scammer.

No one from Microsoft will call you about your computer. If you get a call like this, hang up the phone and save yourself time and money.

If you have a problem you want investigated, call 8 on Your Side at 702-650-1907.

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