The West Grey Police Service would like to warn residents about a phone scam that has surfaced in many areas including ours that could potentially leave you hundreds of dollars out of pocket.

Callers impersonate themselves as a representative of Microsoft or another well-known brand claiming there is a serious virus or issue with your computer. The caller may warn you that if the problem is not repaired, your computer will become unusable. They will then tell you that they can help and direct you to a website that then allows the scammers to take remote control of your computer. The scammer will then spend some time on the computer trying to demonstrate where the problems are and in the process will try to convince you to pay a fee for service that will fix the computer.

In reality, there is nothing wrong with your computer but the scammer has tricked you into believing there is a problem and that paying a fee is the best way to get it fixed. Often they will push you into buying a one year computer maintenance fee. These people are simply trying to scam you out of money. Callers will often sound professional and genuine.

Don’t be fooled, Microsoft and other well known companies do not cold call customers in regards to malfunctioning computers, viruses or other issues.

If you feel that you have already responded to such a scam with personal financial information, change passwords or PIN’s on all your online accounts that you think might be compromised. Contact your bank immediately and directly. Do not follow the link in any email message from the scammers. If you know of any accounts that were accessed fraudulently, close those accounts and routinely check your bank and credit card statements monthly for unexplained charges or inquiries that you did not make.

The West Grey Police strongly advise residents to simply hang up if you receive such a call of this nature and in no way respond to any communications from these scammers.

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