Bishop Police: Beware of phone scam

– Press release from the Bishop Police Department:

The Bishop Police Department would like to make the public aware of a phone scam targeting the Bishop area. We have acquired some reports of residents receiving phone calls from a “Microsoft” employee out of the Los Angeles area advising they will clean up any computer problems the resident may have.

Bishop PD sign

The Police Department has been told the person calling has a foreign accent, but seems very knowledgeable with regards to computers. The caller requests access to your computer and directs you to a website to sign in for assistance. Once you have done this, the caller has complete control of your computer and locks you out of it.

The scam is complete when you are then frozen out of your computer. The caller then requests a fee be given to the company in order to fix the computer problem. If you hang up on them, they keep calling you back and say the only way the computer can be fixed is through them and you need to pay a fee.

We are asking the public to be aware of this and not to allow anyone over the phone access your computer. The phone scammers sound very official and convincing; please keep your personal information personal and away from potential scammers.

Thank You,

K. Coffman, Public Information Officer

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8 years ago

The one exception to this is when you have a real service contract with a service provider and YOU contact THEM. The company who sold me my current computer and service contract can indeed do a lot of fixing for you, but you must hand over your computer control to them. But I made darn sure I was using the phone number ON THE SERVICE CONTRACT itself.

8 years ago

Simple language for those of you with elderly parents: “Don’t let anyone you do not have a real-life, in-person, relationship with call and tell you to do something on your computer. Just hang-up on them, no matter how official they sound.”

ARS Technica had a nice write-up on this:

8 years ago

Geez, and look both ways before you cross the street.