CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The West Virginia Attorney General’s Office is warning West Virginians to be wary of a computer repair scam going around the state.
According to WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, the scammer calls consumers claiming they are from a major technology or computer company and demands the consumer pay for antivirus software they allegedly bought. The scammer will then ask for bank account information or urge the consumer to make a payment through their credit card or a gift card.
Morrisey says if the consumer refuses to pay, the scammer may also ask to gain access to the person’s computer to remove the alleged antivirus program.
“Consumers should be cautious if they receive a suspicious call, particularly if they haven’t done business with the company in question,” said Morrisey. “Look for warning signs such as a machine-generated voice, unusual word choices or improper grammar. Most importantly, never give money to a scammer or allow them to access your credit card or computer.”
He also urges consumers to safeguard their sensitive information such as network and financial information and any account passwords.
Morrisey also warns that the scammers may use a “spoofing” tactic by masking the phone number they are actually calling from and make it appear as if the call is coming from a different, legitimate-looking number.
The AG’s office says they have also received reports of another version of the scam in which the scammer is still claiming to be from a technology or computer company, but is demanding payment and access to the person’s computer to remove a non-existent virus from the device.
Anyone who receives one of these calls or thinks they may have been a victim of this scam should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 800-368-8808 or file a complaint on the Attorney General’s Office website.