FDPD investigating computer support scam

The Fort Dodge Police Department is asking the public to be mindful of information they provide over the phone after two computer tech support scams were reported to police.

Both incidents were reported Monday.

Police Chief Tim Carmody said in both cases, an unknown caller claimed to be from Microsoft Tech Support and said they were calling about a problem with the person’s computer. The caller claimed they could fix the problem remotely.

“They then asked the person to visit a website which gives them remote control of the computer,” Carmody said. “In one case the person did not have a computer and in the other access was granted and the computer began to malfunction after that.”

Carmody said the caller offered to fix the problem if they were paid. The person didn’t send any money and had their computer repaired locally.

He said the Federal Trade Commission is aware of the scam.

The agency has published a list of tips so people can avoid becoming victims of this scam. Among the tips include not giving control of a computer to a third party who calls without any notice, not relying on caller ID alone when trying to find out who is calling, and not providing passwords, financial data or credit card information from someone who calls over the phone.

Carmody added that information such as PINs and personal information should never be given over the phone.

“If you are unsure of the source ask for a call-back number so that you may verify the information they are requesting,” he said.

He added that anybody who has been a victim of this scam should contact the Police Department at 573-1426.