CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Better Business Bureau warns residents to be on alert for two over-the-phone scams.
In one, the caller claims to be with tech support from a well-known software company and claims that error messages sent by the other person's computer prompted them to detect several viruses on the machine.
"The scammer may know your name and other personal information, which they get from publicly available phone directories," according to a release from the Better Business Bureau. "They might even guess what computer operating system you're using."
The scammer claims a tech support employee can remove the virus, but must be granted access to the computer. They claim to be able to scan the computer remotely.
Then they'll offer to remove the bug for a fee, which of course requires personal credit card information.
The bureau said those who allowed the caller access to their computers, whether or not they paid to have the virus removed, reported problems with their machines after. Some said their computers wouldn't turn on or that certain programs or files were inaccessible.
Some took their computers to legitimate technicians and were told software had been installed.
No one should give control of their computer to a third party unless it's a legitimate company with whom the computer owner is familiar. Never provide credit card or financial information to someone claiming to be from tech support. Take the caller's information down and report it to the local authorities or the FTC.