Thieves say your computer needs to be repaired

TOLEDO (13abc Action News) - Your computer has a problem and it needs to be fixed right away. At least that’s what the person on the other end of the phone says.

But the fact that they're calling you is the first sign that there is actually no problem.

Legitimate companies that work on computers will never call you out of nowhere to tell you about a problem even if they say they're a well-known company like Microsoft.

Betty, from Toledo, says when the person said they were from Microsoft, gave a phone number and an ID number. She felt comfortable.

"By them saying they were from Microsoft, I said maybe this is right," said Betty who did not want her last name revealed.

She then went to a website the caller suggested and that's when the thieves got into her computer.

"I was watching while they were doing this and my files were just going real fast in front of me and I'm thinking why is he looking at all this?" said Betty.

Then comes the payoff for the crooks. It's going to cost $250 to unlock the computer.

"He says yes you need to pay me $250. I said well I won't be able to do that and he said well if you don't do it I'm going to lock your computer down and I'm thinking how can you lock my computer down," said Betty.

Betty let them into the computer and she's warning others not to. Microsoft does not call you. Even though Betty says these callers are persuasive and professional, experts say they're totally bogus.

"Call Microsoft first. I called Microsoft after the fact and they said they've not sent anyone," said Betty.

She took it to professional and they wiped the computer clean but they did manage to save some of her files.