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“It feels like you are violated:” West Bend Family warns of computer scam

It came up as tech support pop-up ad. 

The Kuss Family was home in West Bend when they noticed their computer scrolling through YouTube videos then a bright red pop-ad appeared stating, "The following data will be compromised if you continue."

They decided to call the technical support number on the ad. 

“He said well you have a virus and it’s pretty serious," said Terry Kuss. 

Kuss gave the operator access to his computer and provided some personal information. 

“He said to be safe we have to see your current credit cards. I mistakenly gave him our current credit card numbers," said Kuss.

Then they said they would need to charge them $3,495 to install a network security shield, then Kuss hung up and canceled his credit cards. 

“It feels like you are violated, your personal information has been violated," said Kuss. 

Dr. Thomas Kaczmarek at Marquette University says scams like this are becoming more common. There are things you can do to prevent viruses and hackers from compromising your computer and accounts. 

“It’s good to accept the updates and always install them. They are there to patch security holes," said Dr. Kaczmarek, Center for Cyber Security Director. 

He also advises to backup your computer. If someone tries to sell anti-virus software for thousands of dollars, Dr. Kaczmarek says in most cases it should not cost you anything. 

 "Most internet service providers will give it to you for free because they are just trying to protect everyone on the network," said Dr. Kaczmarek. 

The Kuss Family is not alone, Microsoft says it gets about 10,000 tech support scam complaints every month. 

If you see the Microsoft tech support pop-up ad, keep these facts in mind:

  • Do not call the number on the ad, Microsoft warning messages never include a phone number.
  • Never give control of your computer to a third party
  • Microsoft will never reach out to you to provide technical support

National Cyber Security Awareness Month in October is a time when experts work to inform people on how they can stay safe online.

There are three in the Milwaukee area:

Cyber Security for Small Businesses
Open to the Public
BBB Serving Wisconsin Exclusive Presentation
Thursday, October 19
5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Colloquium on Cyber Security Awareness
Open to the Public
Friday, October 20
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Workshop on Cyber Security Preparedness (Limited Space)
BBB Accredited Business Workshop
Thursday, October 26
4:00 – 6:00 p.m.


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