Police seeking assistance in identifying suspect.

Beware of Tech Support Scam 

Date: 07/25/19
Contacts: Lieutenant Joe Messerich, (563) 589-4473
                  Assistant Chief Jeremy Jensen, (563) 589-4444

Throughout the month of July, several citizens have reported different variations of a scam involving scammers who claim to be from Microsoft. Some victims report receiving a pop-up message on their computer instructing them to call a specified number while others receive a scam phone call. The scammers tell potential victims that their computer has a virus or some other problem. The scammers ask their victims to visit a website and download a program but the program is malware that allows the scammers to remote access the victim’s computer. Of course, the scammers say they can fix your computer problem; it will just cost you a fee.

Check out this article from Microsoft…the real Microsoft, about Tech Support Scams and how to avoid them. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security/threat-protection/intelligence/support-scams

Some of the big takeaways from the article are “Any communication with Microsoft has to be initiated by you” and “Microsoft does not send unsolicited email messages or make unsolicited phone calls to request personal or financial information, or to fix your computer”.

Here are a few additional points to remember:

  • No legitimate business is conducted using gift cards as a form of payment. No legitimate business will ask you to ship money in a package. A request to wire money using a money transfer service is also a common sign of a scam and once you send it, it’s gone. If you receive an unsolicited call or email and are eventually asked to buy gift cards, ship money, or wire money, this is a scam…every time. When in doubt, ask your financial institution or the police.
  • Never pay money to get money. Whether it’s a sweepstake, inheritance, a refund, or any other type of promised monetary award; you shouldn’t have to pay to get it.
  • Watch out for overpayment scams. For whatever reason, you’ve been promised a payment of say $200.  But when the check comes, it’s for $1000. Oops says the scammer, we overpaid you. Please wire us back $800…

For more scam tips, please visit https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0060-10-things-you-can-do-avoid-fraud. Scammers come up with new tactics every day and they’re good at what they do. Please be vigilant when it comes to your money and personal information and don’t be afraid to talk things out with your bank/credit union or law enforcement. 

If you have any information on this incident or others, please call the Dubuque Police Department at 563-589-4415 or Crime Stoppers at 800-747-0117 or 563-588-0714 (if the information leads to an arrest, the caller is eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000). You can also submit tips anonymously online at www.cityofdubuque.org/police or through the MyDBQ smartphone app available at www.cityofdubuque.org/MyDBQ.

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