Do you want to know how those fake Microsoft computer tech scammers get into your computer?
You know, the people who call and want to fix some virus they say is dangerous.
For years, they’ve been taking hundreds and thousands from people with these lies.
We wanted to show how they work and what they do once inside your computer.
So we set up an old laptop and used a separate internet connection so they couldn’t infect our system.
And we called some of the phone numbers you gave us, of people who tried scamming you.
My producer Courtney and I got hold of one guy who calls himself Max.
Who knows his real name with all of the lies we were about to hear.
He says he’s a Microsoft technician who says “we have received some notifications from your computer about viruses because you are a customer of Microsoft.”
He does not work for Microsoft, which wouldn’t randomly monitor your computer anyway.
He instructed us to type in some numbers, and go to a few websites.
In no time, he was controlling our computer remotely.
And Max had bad news.
He says we had 2,754 viruses and showed us a page with that number at the top.
But it said 2754 “events”, which really are completely normal.
They are just applications running in the computer’s background.
Max had more.
He also says we were hacked, and pointed to that word in another part of our computer.
He said “there are 12 or 13 unknown connections”
Turns out, he, was our only hacker.
ABC15 Engineer Mike Dunn says it was Max who typed in “hacking detected.”
We could see where the computer shows it didn’t even recognize the words.
Mike says “you could write ‘how now brown cow’ and get the same response.”
We ask what it will take to fix our computer.
Max took us to a fake Microsoft website, where plans range from $160 to more than $300.
We asked if he could do it cheaper.
And it became like a car deal.
Max had to talk with his supervisor, who apparently okayed a lesser price.
But we were done.
I finally called him out as a scammer.
And we tell him we’re with a television station.
When I ask him if he shouldn’t be taking money like this, he hangs up.
But we were also communicating through note writing online.
And Max directs his comments towards producer Courtney.
He writes “you’re voice is very sexy.”
“I think I’m falling for you.”
It’s funny, if we didn’t know how many millions these scammers have stolen.
We leave him with this note:
“You seem like a nice guy. Please do something else with your life.”
The experience showed us how easy it would be for people to get sucked in.
If you get a tech call about a computer virus, it’s a scam.
Hang up. Better yet, let all calls go to voice mail.
This scammer did point out our computer and operating system were outdated.
Both true, and a reminder to keep your system and virus protection current.
Click here to learn more about Microsoft tech scams.