Saranac Lake police warn of scam with fake Microsoft caller

SARANAC LAKE — Village police are warning people of a scam in which a caller pretends to help fix one’s computer software.

In a press release Tuesday, village police described how a local resident received a phone call from someone saying he was from Microsoft, asking the resident to access the home computer to help fix a problem. In this case the resident hung up on the caller and did not cooperate, police said.

“However, in the past, people have followed the caller’s instructions and accessed their computers,” police wrote. “This resulted in the caller gaining access to the computer and the owner’s programs and files. In some cases, the caller may then demand a monetary payment to restore your computer and return your electronic files back to your control.

“If you receive an unsolicited call asking you to access your computer hang-up the telephone and notify your local police.”

In general, police wrote, “Residents should be wary of any unsolicited telephone calls asking them to share their personal information or data with the caller. Do not give awa[y] any information unless you are sure of the caller’s identity and that they are legitimate.”

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