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Nov 30, 2012 9:23 PM by Andy Koen

Cyber scammers target Southern Colorado

COLORADO SPRINGS - Online shoppers beware, international scam artists seem to be targeting our community this week. They are making cold calls to individual homes and cell phones saying they are from "Microsoft Windows."

Scarlett Millsaps recently got that call.

"They told me that they are with Microsoft Windows and that they had been receiving a lot of error messages from my computer," she said.

Millsaps was supicious, but the caller claimed they had her information on file because she had registered her computer with Microsoft. They also said they could help her find the error.

"So, I went and followed the instructions to look on my computer and see the errors and it showed that there were over 15,000 errors."

Next they asked her to visit the website teamviewer.com, a legitimate website that allows users remote access to computers.

"And I said is this going to allow you access to my computer and they said yes, we are going to be working on it and repairing your computer for the next two hours ma'am. And I said no, I'm not giving you access to my computer."

And it's a good thing because the caller was a part of a phishing scam. Katie Carrol of the Better Business Bureau says during cyber week in particular the scammers will be much more aggressive.

"Right now there are going to be a lot of online shopping scams and they're more sophisticated than ever because more of us are shopping using our smart phones, we're using Skype to communicate with loved ones," Carrol said.

Her best advice is to follow Scarlett's example and never give into pressure.

"Everything looked really official on both websites. So it could be pretty convincing," she said. "But I told them I didn't trust them and I didn't believe them and I would talk to my husband and have him call them back."

Carrol, of the BBB encourages anyone who feels they may have fallen victim to the phishing scams to run anti-virus software on their computer. It's also prudent check bank accounts and your credit reports for unusual activity. If you find something suspicious, notify the police.

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