Bryan Cohen Aug. 28, 2013, 7:37pm

LAS VEGAS (Legal Newsline) - Nevada Attorney General Catherine Masto warned consumers Wednesday about an ongoing scam using the name of Microsoft and other legitimate companies in an effort to gain access to sensitive information.

As part of the scam, individuals either cold call people at home or directly email them, falsely claiming to represent one of several legitimate-sounding groups, including the Microsoft Research and Development Team, the Microsoft Technical Department Support Group, Microsoft Tech Support, Windows Service Center and Windows Helpdesk. The scammers may even claim to be from the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit.

The scam artists frequently address their potential victim by name and say the security of the victim's computer is at risk, offering a free security check. The scammers are then able to install malicious software that captures sensitive data like banking information, take control of the computer remotely to adjust settings to leave the computer vulnerable to security threats, navigate to fraudulent websites where credit card information is required and request credit card information to bill the victims for the services provided by the scammers.

"Cyber-security is a growing point of concern for Nevadans," Masto said. "Criminals are turning to online tactics of deception and scams to steal from people, making it much more difficult to track."

Microsoft and its partners will never make unsolicited calls to people about computer security issues.

Individuals targeted by the scammers can report the claim to local authorities or the Federal Trade Commission.


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