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Several Woburn Residents Report Elaborate Computer Scam

The scam allows an unknown party to access a resident's computer and credit card information.

Woburn residents have fallen victim to a phone scam.
Woburn residents have fallen victim to a phone scam.
Several Woburn residents have been a victim of an alleged scam during which a person purporting to be a Microsoft employee does significant damage to the person's computer and also gains access to credit card information.

According to a Patch reader, a caller recently told her that the certificate on her computer had expired and because of the expiration, the computer must have been compromised and that the technical department would check it out.

The woman said it would be $9.99 per year and that for a cost of $99.99, a lifetime certificate would be given to the woman.

A box came up on the woman's computer screen with a Microsoft technician's name, and she clicked to allow access believing it was a trustworthy source. As the technician worked, the woman realized that a scam was taking place and she called Dell.

Workers at the computer company said the woman should shut her computer down, but because access had been gained she was unable to do so. The woman was then instructed to pull the plug and the Dell employee unsuccessfully attempted to gain access to the computer so he could fix the damage.

The woman said the problem was eventually solved by Dell workers after about five hours, and in the meantime the resident said the purported Microsoft employees continuously called the house attempting to speak to the woman again.

Several Woburn Patch Facebook followers said they received similar calls in recent months, and a Google search of the details of the incident reveal that it is indeed a scam.

One resident said the call came at 2:30 a.m., and another said that the scam gained access to a family member's computer and wanted $140 to release it back to her.

The official Microsoft website offer advice on avoiding phone scams similar to this one.

"Neither Microsoft nor our partners make unsolicited phone calls (also known as cold calls) to charge you for computer security or software fixes," the company said.

As for one Woburn resident, she found her own way to keep the scammers away.

"I get (calls) all day," said Facebook follower Tina Lentine. "The last one that called got an air horn blown in his ears."

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