Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today issued a warning to New Yorkers based on numerous complaints received by his office from consumers who have been contacted recently by scam artists posing as representatives of Microsoft or an organization allegedly affiliated with Microsoft, such as P.C. Solutions. In some cases, the callers will even spoof the telephone's Caller ID to identify the source as "Windows Support."
The scam artists attempt to gain remote access to consumers' computers by claiming that their units are running slowly because they are infected with malware or viruses or need additional software, which the scam artists offer to remedy. After gaining access, scammers are able to extract a fee – as much as $300 – by obtaining credit card information over the phone, or by directing consumers to enter PayPal, bank or credit card information on a website the scammers control.
The scammers first walk consumers through various steps on their computers to display Microsoft's event viewer log, which contains a log of red-marked "errors," yellow "warnings" and other events that have occurred on the computer. Such events are usually inconsequential notifications and are not evidence of a virus. However, the con artists claim that they demonstrate that the PC is corrupted and will sustain further damage or be susceptible to "hacking" if additional action is not taken.