Sheriff's office warns of new scam


Sheriff's office warns of new scam


Date: September 23, 2011
by: Kurt Schultheis | City Editor



The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office is warning all residents about an Internet scam that has been reported in other areas of Florida, where cyber criminals try to trick Microsoft users into believing their computer may be vulnerable to an attack.

The scam works like this: Criminals contact potential victims on their home phone posing as Microsoft computer security engineers. The scammer explains that "threats" have been reported to Microsoft and as a courtesy they are providing free security checks to customers who may have unknowingly downloaded a virus or malware.

In most cases the caller will ask the victim to go to their computer and follow detailed instructions while still on the phone with the criminal. These instructions actually cause computer owners to install malicious malware applications on their machine, which allows the scammer to monitor passwords, steal personal and financial information and make the victim's computer part of a collection of compromised computers.

Some victims report the scammer has gained remote access to their computer and threatened they would not release it until they get the victim’s credit card information.

While this crime has not been reported in Sarasota County, the sheriff’s office wants to warn citizens of the potential danger so they do not fall victim to this scheme.

According to Microsoft, the company does not make unsolicited phone calls to fix computers and warns people never give out their Internet Protocol (IP) address or financial information over the phone and hang up if you receive similar requests.

Contact Kurt Schultheis at


Login Register now

Currently 2 Responses

  • 1.
  • got a call like that and trust me, these scammers are stupid! they talk like they actually expected you're buying their stories. haha! the last time he's called, i told him I'll just get my CC and placed him on hold for forever. i hoped he paid an enormous telephone bill for that. :)
  • melissa howard
    Sun 13th Nov 2011
    at 9:03pm
  • 2.
  • Mary Baker
    Fri 23rd Sep 2011
    at 1:04pm
Login below to post a comment or click register.
Account E-Mail
forgot password? click here
Speak Your Mind Below!


Subscribe to our eNewsletters
1970 Main Street, Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-3468

Copyright 2014 The Observer Group Inc., All Rights Reserved