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Beware of phone scams seeking computer access to charge fees
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I wish to warn readers of some phone scams that have been going around. Dishonest people are calling to damage your computer, take your money and steal your identity.

The Microsoft Windows call was featured on the local TV news. The caller claims to be from the Microsoft Windows Department and that they have received a report that your Windows is corrupt. Microsoft does not call and does not know what is going on with your computer.

If you go to your computer and follow the caller’s instructions, your computer will be locked and you will be asked to pay money to get it fixed. As the news report said, you’re paying money for a problem that doesn’t exist. If you do have a problem with Windows or other Microsoft products, contact Microsoft support yourself. And even though the caller ID says the call is coming from the United States, most likely it is from India.

During the summer, we were getting recorded messages supposedly from the Internal Revenue Service. The message states that the IRS has been trying to reach you and it is preparing to sue you. Again, bogus call. The IRS doesn’t call; if the agency believes you have a tax issue, even something as small as a change in your refund amount, you will receive a letter. It is up to you to contact the IRS, and it may be a good idea to get that phone number from directory listings.

The courthouse will not call and demand immediate payment of a fine for missing jury duty. The police will not call and pressure you for immediate payment on a prepaid card for a speeding ticket. No bank in town will call and ask for your account information. The best thing to do is just hang up.

Telephone criminals prey on our fears and our ignorance. One of the best ways to stop these crimes is to shed the light of truth on their dark deeds. Let’s keep the conversation going.

Mike Hall
Flowery Branch

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