LINCOLN, Neb. (Legal Newsline) - Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning has issued an alert about computer tech support scams that actually leave victims more vulnerable to malware.

Bruning's Office Mediation Center received six complaints in the last 30 days related to scam phone calls from individuals falsely claiming to represent Microsoft. The callers pose as tech support professionals to gain access to sensitive information stored on the victims' computers.

"Computers house a gold mine of information that scammers can use against you," Bruning said. "Nebraskans should never provide access to personal or business computers to people they don't know. You can't know who is on the other end of unsolicited phone calls, regardless of what they claim."

The scam begins when consumers receive phone calls from individuals pretending to be with Microsoft, Norton, McAfee, Dell or some other legitimate support group. The callers claim an urgent security threat was detected with the consumers' computer and direct consumers to utility areas of their computers to show how the computer is purportedly infected. The scam artists request to verify the information of the consumers to help to correct the issue.

The caller may offer software available for download or to directly update the consumer's current system. The scammer may also route consumers to dummy websites enabling the scammer to remotely access the computer. After getting access to the consumer's computer, the scam artist can install fraudulent software or may request bank account information to charge for the fraudulent upgrades.

Scammers can use personal information gained from the transaction to make fraudulent charges or perpetrate identity theft.

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