Computer scam hitting the Treasure Valley

Computer scam hitting the Treasure Valley
CALDWELL, Idaho - Almost everyone with a computer has gotten an error message at some point, but what if your software company called to fix the problem for free? That's what one Caldwell woman thought was happening to her. However, she was mistaken.

"A man called and said I had a virus on my computer and he could fix it," said Donae Thompson, a Caldwell resident.

The man on the other line wanted to take over control of Thompson's computer. He said only then could he fix the issue which was very serious.

"He's making all these exclamations and being very dramatic," Thompson said.

She did start following his instructions.

"I got to the point where I though wait a second! A little light bulb went on and I said I don't know who this is," Thompson explained. "It didn't say Microsoft on caller ID so I said I have to do something right now can you call me back?"

The man didn't call back, but she did contact Microsoft.

"They said 'we don't do that'," Thompson said.

"Microsoft and any other of those companies aren't going to be calling you to alert you that you have a bug in your computer," said Robb Hicken, with the Better Business Bureau. "You'll get an alert on your computer."

Hicken says this is a new scam to the Treasure Valley and it's one you need to be aware of.

"They want to get in and find your financials," Hicken said. "They're targeting your information in your computer so once you give them control of your computer look out."

Thompson is glad she didn't give in, but knows how easy it would be too because she almost did.

The BBB says if you've let someone take over your computer, and you're worried it could have been a scam, contact your bank, credit card companies and flag your credit report. You should also take your computer and have it checked out to make sure it hasn't been infected with a virus.