Cyber Criminals Targeting El Dorado County

The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office has received reports of what appears to be a computer scam. It’s been reported that the victims receive a telephone call from someone identifying themselves as a computer technician working for a reputable computer company such as Dell. The caller tells the victim they are certified to work on Microsoft products and they received warning messages from the victim’s computer that it is vulnerable and they called to fix the problem. If you get this type of phone call, it is a scam. Microsoft or their partners do not make unsolicited phone calls, often referred to as cold calls, about your computer’s security or software. The caller is most likely a Cyber Criminal.
Cyber Criminals often use publicly available phone directories to gain your name, telephone number and other personal information. When Cyber Criminals call, they will often try to gain your trust and eventually ask you for your username and password. Cyber Criminals may ask you to go to a legitimate website and install software which will allow them to access your computer remotely in order to fix it. Once you do this, your computer and personal information is vulnerable. In some cases the victim is locked out of their own computer by the Cyber Criminal who then requests a “fee” to restore it.
Although law enforcement can oftentimes trace phone numbers, Cyber Criminals will use pay phones, disposable phones, or stolen phone numbers making investigations difficult. If you receive a phone call like this, all you need to do is hang-up and refuse to become a victim. If you feel you might have fallen for this scam, please report it to the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office.