"All of the sudden he had control of the computer." That's from a central Kentucky woman who almost fell for a popular scam that targets computer owners at home. Here's how it works. You get a phone call at home from a person claiming to be a computer tech who has information that your computer has "errors." They convince you they can help fix the problem if you'll turn on your computer, and go to a website called "team viewer." If you do that, the person on the phone now has control of your computer, and can gain access to personal information.
Heather Clary of the Better Business Bureau of Central and Eastern Kentucky says, " "These people can use that to plant viruses, to root through it to find personal information of yours that might be stored there, financial information, things you don't want in the hands of other people."
In this case, the woman in Kentucky told us, she was told her computer had over 2,000 errors. But WKYT computer expert Tom Watkins says it's common for computers to have errors.
"You could probably randomly call anybody around the world, and say your computer has errors, and not be lying," Watkins said.
Watkins says a computer can still function fine with the errors, and you don't need to have the computer fixed.
The BBB's advice: get the person's name and company and report it to authorities, and by all means, do not turn on your computer and go to a website. Microsoft has these tips on how to handle these kinds of calls:
-Be suspicious of any unsolicited calls related to a security problem.
-Never give them personal information, turn on your computer, or go to a website for the caller.
-Take down the caller's name and company, and pass it on to the Better Business Bureau.
-Make sure you are up to date on your computer security
-Use a strong password and change it regularly.
Microsoft did a survey and found the average person was losing $875 to these kinds of calls related to computers.