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The office has received several complaints recently, Sgt. Eric Munger said.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has had no such reports, said Detective Brett Anglin, acting chief criminal deputy.
The caller, who may identify himself as a Microsoft employee, says there are problems with the person’s computer and offers to walk him or her through fixing it or show him or her the computer’s vulnerabilities, Munger said.
“These individuals are either trying to get victims to access websites and download programs that contain viruses or get victims to enable remote desktop administration, which allows the caller to gain full access to the victim’s computer,” Munger said.
What could happen
Once access was gained, the scammer would have full access to stored information such as saved passwords, financial information, emails and saved pages, he said.
Such scams are new to the North Olympic Peninsula, Munger said, adding that they typically are conducted by people from outside the United States.
“Computer companies, Internet companies, financial institutions and other similar companies will not typically proactively call you concerning problems with your computers,” Munger said.
“Instead, you will have had to have called them first, and they will either put you on hold or call you back,” he added.
“If you have not first called these companies, then it is likely a scam.”
Those suspicious of the authenticity of the call can ask for the name of the customer service technician, a work ticket and a call-back number.
“Once you have received this information, hang up the phone and call the company the individual works for and confirm the information you were given over the phone,” Munger said.
“Being suspicious is a good thing,” he added.
“If you receive a call such as what has been described, your instincts that it smells bad are likely correct.
“Politely declining a suspicious service, hanging up or requiring further proof of legitimacy are all excellent responses.”