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Aug 25, 2011

Computer fraud: Microsoft is not calling

WOODSTOCK – If you get a call from someone claiming to work for Microsoft, it's likely a scam.

The Woodstock Police Service has received a number of complaints in recent days from city residents who have received these phone calls. The caller invariably claims to be a Microsoft representative and tells the victim about a "serious virus problem" on their home computer.

As part of the fraud, the caller tells the victim to perform a number of specific tasks on the computer that actually allows the suspect to remotely access the machine. The suspect can then steal data from the computer, including passwords and other sensitive information. The caller has also attempted to collect credit card information from the victim to "pay for the service" that was allegedly performed.

The Woodstock Police Service is reminding city residents to be extremely vigilant with the information they provide to persons over the phone or on their computers.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre is an excellent source of information about current scams and how to avoid becoming a victim. The centre can be found at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca. The RCMP also has an Internet safety information section at www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/is-si.

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