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Better Business Bureau warning of computer tech support scam in WV

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The Better Business Bureau issued a warning Sept. 6 to alert consumers of fraudulent tech support calls to fix their computers.

According to the BBB, consumers have reported receiving telephone calls from someone who claims to be with tech support from a well-known software company. Often the scammers have said they were with Microsoft and have used common names such as "Adam," or "Bill," and also spoke with thick accents.

The callers often know the consumers' names and personal information, which has been gleaned from phone directories, and the scammers may even be able to guess what computer operating system the consumer is using, according to the BBB.

The caller then tells the consumer that his or her computer "is sending error messages," and the caller has detected a virus then claim that only a tech support employee can remove the virus and must first be given access to the computer.

If a consumer gives the caller permission, the caller tells the caller he is scanning the files and then point out how the virus has infected the computer and follow up by offering to remove the virus for a fee.

The BBB is warning that consumers who allowed the callers remote access to their computers, whether the consumers proceeded to give the caller their credit card information or not, later reported difficulties with their computers afterward.

The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center reported some consumers having difficulty turning on their computers or accessing certain programs and files.

The BBB further warns consumers should never give control of their computers to a third party unless it is confirmed that the person is a legitimate representative of a computer support team with whom consumers already are customers; consumers should never provide financial information to someone who claims to be from tech support; and consumers should take the caller's information and then report it to the local authorities.