Merrimack Community Services Officer Robert Kelleher sent an email Monday warning of a computer/phone scam that has been reported by a couple residents recently and seems to be making its rounds in Merrimack and other communities.
The scam involves a person receiving a call from person who says a computer in your home is alerting them to the fact that there is a virus. The person wants you to download a file to fix and to logon while you're on the phone with them. It's likely that file is some sort of virus, the letter writer says. Read his note below:
I have just received a phone call from an unknown source. My caller ID displayed my own phone number as if I'd called myself. The person on the other end (from another country) explained that I had a "Microsoft Computer inside my house that was sending a message about a virus".
The caller asked me to go to my computer and logon to download a file. I asked if they knew my device name, IP address and some other information to which the person re-asserted that I had a "Microsoft computer that had alerted them." I asked who "them" was and my question was deflected. They didn't even tell me where they were calling from.
My assumption was that this was a scam to have me log on (as they were asking me to do) and download a file (virus) to my machine. I hung up and if I do have concerns I will call Micorosft directly.
Please please please don't take a non-solictited call that asks you to download things to your computer. If you have concerns about your computer you can call Microsoft or a local professional but unsolicited calls may only end up with an unknown virus being downloaded to your machine where someone is following all of your banking and credit card transactions.
Kelleher urges residents to keep focused during this holiday season and if you think something is not right, call police at 424-3774 and they will help you out.