Police warn of new rip-off scam on the phone

Currently, fraudulent calls from alleged employees of Microsoft or other IT companies are increasing. They promise help in case of a virus attack on the PC, but want to scam money and access to the system. How to protect yourself.

“Hello, your PC is infected by a virus” – anyone who receives such calls and then offers of help from alleged employees of large IT companies is best to hang up immediately. The police and the Rhineland-Palatinate Consumer Center report that calls from scammers are currently on the increase. They want to scam money and data with fictitious stories such as a virus-infected PC.

Virus on PC? Help only against payment

Against payment, help is offered to remove the supposed virus on the PC. Using software and remote access, the perpetrators allow themselves to be switched onto the victim’s computer. There, they spy out data such as online banking access and credit card information. The calls are often made in English or in broken German.

In such cases, it is best to hang up immediately and report the number to the police and the Federal Network Agency. Under no circumstances should you follow the caller’s instructions, download any software or disclose any data. Without order computer companies never call, so the Verbrauchersch├╝tzer. Especially not if the PC is “only” infected by a virus.

The scammers often pretend to be employees of Microsoft. However, according to their own information, this company does not call unsolicited to repair damaged devices. And even official help after support requests is almost always provided by e-mail, consumer protection agencies report.

However, anyone who has already responded to the scammers’ instructions should disconnect their computer from the Internet and electricity as quickly as possible and contact the police, for example the Internet watchdog in their state.

Defend yourself against telephone scams!

Again and again, cases come to light in which fraudsters contact their victims by phone and lure them into a trap. The methods they use are many and varied. But users can defend themselves. All they have to do is follow a few tips that we have compiled here:

How to defend yourself against impudent phone scammers

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With material from dpa