Microsoft scammers call computer expert

Computer expert traces call to India

Published On: Jul 03 2012 09:21:06 PM EDT   Updated On: Jul 04 2012 05:04:47 PM EDT
Computer user with mouse and keyboard
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

A computer expert in Jacksonville traces a caller who claims to be from Microsoft but is instead trying to steal financial records with a computer virus.

Last month, Channel 4 warned computer users who scammers were calling people's homes and having them download a virus.

Christopher Hamer, a computer expert, spoke with Channel 4 about the scam. On Tuesday, Hamer said he had received one of the Microsoft scam phone calls.

While on the phone, Hamer used a virtual computer to download the virus without damaging his real system.

"Since I had the equipment, I had the time, I knew my phone calls were being recorded because of my phone system, I decided to see, 'Let's see how far this will go. Let's see what they'll actually do,'" said Hamer.

Hamer told Channel 4 he was able to trace the call to India.

"They're pretending to be out of the U.K., but their actual office is out of India," said Hamer.

He said the software he downloaded infected the virtual computer he had setup, and to many, the virus could mean disaster.

"They're thieves. Liars and thieves, and they're preying on people starting to become comfortable with their computers and terrorizing them," said Hamer.

Hamer warns giving anyone personal information over the phone and not purchasing software from unsolicited phone calls. He also said computer users shouldn't allow a third-party to control their computer.