Beware of calls from scammers posing as Microsoft employees, authorities warn

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents about a phone scam involving a caller posing as a Microsoft employee trying to gain access to information on home computers.

A South County woman received a call on Nov. 8 from someone claiming to be from Microsoft who said he needed to gain remote access to the woman’s computer to scan it for viruses, according to Tony Cipolla, a Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

Microsoft does not call computer owners to do this type of service, so residents should ignore any such call, Cipolla said. Any scammer who gains access to a computer can install malicious software, steal personal information or direct consumers to fraudulent websites that could ask for credit card information, Cipolla warned.

The Better Business Bureau recommends protecting yourself by installing virus detection software and only using trusted computer repair companies.