Watch Out For Scammers Posing as Legitimate Businesses - NBC 6 South Florida
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Watch Out For Scammers Posing as Legitimate Businesses

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    Watch Out for Scammers Posing as Legitimate Businesses

    A woman says scammers have been calling her, posing as tech support specialists. She called NBC 6 Responds, hoping her story would help others avoid being duped.

    (Published Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019)

    Every time Joan Rosenfeld hears her phone ring, she wonders if it's another scammer trying to trick her.

    "It makes me very nervous," she told NBC 6. "Nobody needs this stress."

    She's been the victim of identity theft before, so she became worried when she started getting suspicious calls a few weeks ago.

    "They said that my Microsoft license key had expired and that my computer was going to shut down unless I called them to repair this," she said. "I don't even know what a license key is."

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    A Windows license key is linked to the operating system on a PC. Microsoft told NBC 6 "properly activated Windows for consumer licenses don't expire" and that "Microsoft will never proactively call you to provide technical assistance."

    NBC 6 Responds wanted to talk to the people who had been calling Rosenfeld. At first, they seemed to stay on script, explaining to us what they had told her about the expired license key. But when we asked them if they were scammers, they quickly hung up. When we dialed the number again, it was no longer in service.

    "They'll find another number and start scamming all over again," Rosenfeld said.

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    The Better Business Bureau told NBC 6 they see complaints about these types of scams all the time.

    "The best thing to do is search for a number for the company that you actually know and tell them what's going on," said Cinthya Lavin, communications director for the BBB of Southeast Florida. "Hopefully they'll be able to tell you that it's a scammer or a hacker or maybe you do need to purchase something because you have a trial version."

    Rosenfeld hoped her story would help others not get duped by hackers.

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    "They cause a lot of grief but they also have a lot of suckers," she said.

    Microsoft also said the best thing to do if you get one of these suspicious calls or pop-ups on your computer is to hang up or close your browser. They also want to hear from you. You can report a scam to Microsoft by clicking here.

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