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Washington County Sheriff's Office warns residents of phone scam

October 16, 2012|By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said it wants residents to be aware of a new telephone scam.

Deputy 1st Class Carly Hose said the sheriff’s office recently received a report from a resident who said he received a call from an impostor claiming to be a representative of Microsoft.

“They call residents and say they’ve seen some sort of error message or something along those lines,” Hose said.

She said the caller then asks for information to gain access to the victim’s computer. If the victim grants access, the caller can install a virus or get personal information that is stored on the computer.

In the case in Washington County, Hose said, the caller was able to lock up the victim’s hard drive.

“They actually locked up the computer, then told the victim that they would need to pay money in order for them to unlock it,” Hose said.

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She said residents should not give out personal information over the phone or pay money if someone compromises their computers.

“We want citizens to watch out for that,” Hose said. “Microsoft is not going to contact you. Windows is not going to contact you. If there’s an issue, it’s more likely that you’re going to contact them seeking help.”

She said people should call the sheriff’s office at 240-313-2100 if someone tries to commit this or any other type of phone scam.

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