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The original item was published from 5/3/2013 4:14:56 PM to 6/1/2013 12:05:02 AM.

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Posted on: May 3, 2013

[ARCHIVED] Police Receive Reports of Attempted Computer Hacking

The Bismarck Police Department received two calls from Bismarck residents today who report what appear to be attempts to gain access to the callers’ computers. In both cases the caller claimed to be with Microsoft Security and told the resident there appeared to be someone trying to access their computer. This caller wanted the residents to log onto their computers while on the phone to fix the problem. In one case the resident told the caller she didn’t have time for this right now and hung up. In the other case the resident told the caller she doesn’t even own a computer. Neither victim suffered a loss nor made a police report.

Cybercriminals call you on the telephone and claim to be from Microsoft. They might offer to help solve your computer problems or sell you a software license. Once they have access to your computer, they can do the following:

• Trick you into installing malicious software that could capture sensitive data, such as online banking user names and passwords. They might also then charge you to remove this software.

• Take control of your computer remotely and adjust settings to leave your computer vulnerable.

• Request credit card information so they can bill you for phony services.

• Direct you to fraudulent websites and ask you to enter credit card and other personal or financial information there.

According to Microsoft’s website they don’t make unsolicited phone calls (also known as cold calls) to charge you for computer security or software fixes.

Cybercriminals often use publicly available phone directories so they might know your name and other personal information when they call you. They might even guess what operating system you're using.

Once they've gained your trust, they might ask for your user name and password or ask you to go to a website to install software that will let them access your computer to fix it. Once you do this, your computer and your personal information is vulnerable.

Do not trust unsolicited calls. Do not provide any personal information.
If someone claiming to be from Microsoft tech support, service center, or helpdesk calls you:

• Never give control of your computer to a third party unless you can confirm that it is a legitimate representative of a computer support team with whom you are already a customer.

• Do not purchase any software or services.

• Ask if there is a fee or subscription associated with the "service." If there is, hang up.

• Never provide your credit card or financial information to someone claiming to be from Microsoft tech support.

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