Consumers were today warned of a scam where cyber criminals call consumers, claiming to be from Microsoft or other legitimate technology companies to tell them they have a virus on their computer.
The scammers then get people to download a file from a website and gain access to their computers where they can see personal details including financial information. In some cases they also ask for credit card details.
“We’re seeing growing numbers of reports of this particular scam and we are warning people to be very careful," said John Shine of the National Consumer Agency (NCA).
"Microsoft or any legitimate technology company would never cold call customers to tell them there is a problem with their computer.
"The scammers also using different company names so if you get a call from anyone claiming that there is a problem with your computer – regardless of what company they tell you there are from – hang up immediately and report it to the NCA on 1890 432 432 or get further information on nca.ie."
“Anyone who receives an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft should hang up. We do not make these kinds of calls," said Mary Ashe Winton of Microsoft Ireland said.
"In addition to gaining access to your personal details, they can also infect your computer with damaging viruses and spyware."
For more information on this or other types of bogus calls please visit http://www.microsoft.com/protect/fraud/phishing/Msname.aspx