Remote access scam has outsiders controlling computers remotely, efforting bank account information

February 18, 2013 8:17:24 PM PST
Remote access is when someone is controlling your computer from someplace else. A Texas City woman discovered it was happening to her without her permission.

It started with a phone call offering computer support. But the scary thing is, the person on the other end of the line had control of her computer.

Ann McCain says a week after getting a home internet connection, something very strange happened.

"We received a call from a man who said he was from Windows Support Center and he asked me if I was aware if my computer was running," McCain said.

Even though she had turned the machine off, McCain says -- sure enough -- it was turned on.

"All of a sudden, the cursor is moving around everywhere, things are downloading and he says that is running software to check for hackers," McCain said.

According to McCain, at first the man on the phone said the service was free, but later...

"He tells me, 'OK, in order to make sure this does not happen again I can offer you these package deals,' and then he wanted a bank account number or credit card number," McCain said.

She did not give out any financial information and unplugged her Internet connection.

"We have had quite a few customers mention that they got a phone call claiming they are from Microsoft or from another company," said Alex Diaz with Top Tech Experts.

The man who spoke to McCain said he gained access to her computer through her router, but Diaz says something else is to blame.

"It falls in line with the viruses going around. It is basically a program that is installed in your computer, hidden somewhere in your system that needs to be removed completely out of the system," Diaz explained.

If you find someone has remote access to your computer, do what McCain did: turn it off right away, unplug the Internet connection and then have the computer scanned for viruses or malware.

The person who called McCain was not with Microsoft. The company calls this a scam and warns people not to fall for it.

Take ABC13 with you!
Download our free apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry devices