St. Charles police are urging residents not to release personal information to others after residents recently reported they have been contacted by purported representatives of Microsoft offering to “Help fix a problem” with home computers/laptops.
According to a St. Charles Police Department release, callers have been both male and female with a strong foreign accent. Police say it is a common scam that first seeks to gain a person’s trust. According to Microsoft, once that happens a variety of outcomes can occur, including:
Having you install “malware” on your computer that could be used to gather your personal information.
The scammers could take control of your computer remotely, which then would allow them to change privacy settings, leaving your computer vulnerable.
Scammers could ask for credit card information to bill you for phony services.
You could be directed to fraudulent websites that may ask for your credit card or other personal information.
Neither Microsoft nor similar companies make unsolicited phone calls, police said.
According to the release, if you receive a call like this, simply hang up.
If you feel you have become a victim and might have given out personal information, such as your Social Security number or credit card information, contact your credit card companies and/or the three credit bureaus — TransUnion, Experian and Equifax.
You may be required to make a police report, which can be done at the St. Charles Police Department, 211 N. Riverside Ave.