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Microsoft calling

by The Concordian September 27, 2011
Concordia’s instructional and information technology services are warning the campus community to beware of a technical support phone scam affecting the university that has led to the installation of malicious software on computers over the past few weeks.
IITS usually work on offering services such as instructional technology and media development. But lately they’ve been receiving complaints from people claiming software problems.
“The scam is not tied to Concordia or the IITS,” said IITS helpline supervisor Kathryn McDonell. “It has nothing to do with our software or hardware campus agreements.”
Callers posing as Microsoft, Windows, and HP representatives have contacted campus community members via phone. They attempt to convince the person in question that their software is at risk and insists measures be taken to “save” their computer. The person will often agree and install the recommended software, which secretly allows remote access to their computer.
IITS recognized the scam callers when an employee at the IITS got the virus himself. They posted a warning message on the MyConcordia portal to offer their help.
“We decided to warn the community that these types of calls are scams. We had the same situation last year when a computer virus attacked several students and we offered as much help as we could,” said an IITS employee on their helpline.
“I’ve been getting five or six calls from these scammers a week. My mom fell for the virus and they convinced her to pay 100 bucks to get rid of the virus. There’s money we’ll never see again,” said another IITS employee, who declined to share their name.
IITS representatives are unsure of the number of people who have been targeted by this latest scam.

The IITS suggest visiting www.microsoft.com/security/online-privacy/avoid-phone-scams for more information on how to recognize phone scammers.

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