PORTLAND -- Vera Young is mad that she gave someone she doesn’t know access to her computer to fix a problem that didn’t exist.
"He kept pressuring me," Young said. "I said, 'No,' so he said, 'I'm sorry,' and he hung up."
Then the real trouble began.
"I tried to turn off the computer and it wouldn't turn off.”
Young is among dozens of people who in the past week have received phone calls from someone claiming to be a computer technicianFake Microsoft with Microsoft.
“They’re taking people for a ride and they do it very well,” said Portland Support Computer owner Grant Lansing.
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Lansing said in the past two weeks he’s received several calls from people with the same complaint: Someone calls on the phone claiming to be a Microsoft technician and saying is a problem with your computer.
The caller will then have you go to your computer and talk you through how to provide shared access.
“What they have is basic remote access," Lansing said. "They have the customer go to a website and punch in a code and they can take over the computer.”
Then Lansing said they put in colored warnings to make victims believe that something is wrong with their computers.
But before the caller will fix the problem, he or she will try to sell the victim an expensive extended warranty, Lansing said.
"He offered me a 5-year extended warranty for $500 and I said, 'I can't do that.'” Young said.
Young took her computer to Portland Support Computers and Lansing checked it out at no charge. He said he found nothing at all wrong with the computer.
Lansing said Microsoft or Apple will never call you and tell you there is something wrong with your computer and then ask for access to it.
"The people are claiming they are with Microsoft, and they are claiming they are a legitimate service," he added. "But what they're doing--their routines--are completely bogus,” said Lansing.
KGW contacted the website My Tech Online, which Lansing said was behind the calls.
"We are not a scam and we are selling a legitimate service," head representative Peter Love said.
But he hung up when asked whether employees introduce themselves as Microsoft representatives or upload warnings to make people think their computers are broken.
Send tips to Consumer Reporter Ed Teachout by calling (503) 226-5041 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.