Scam targeting DIRECTV and Microsoft Customers hitting mid-Missouri

5 months 1 week 6 days ago Friday, March 09 2018 Mar 9, 2018 Friday, March 09, 2018 3:09:00 PM CST March 09, 2018 in News
By: Stephanie Lorenc, KOMU 8 News Reporter

JEFFERSON CITY - DIRECTV and Microsoft customers may be the next victims of a new scam hitting mid-Missouri.

The Jefferson City police department released information today warning customers of how to recognize this new scam.

Jefferson City Police Captain Doug Shoemaker says the best way to prevent being scammed is to look out for what he calls cold calls.

“The suspect in this case is a cold call and offers services in virus protection asking if your computer protected. No? Well i can help you out here’s what you need to do i need you to go to our website and grant permission and once they have that remote access and with that access they can get to anything on the computer,” Shoemaker said.

DIRECTV customer, Jeff Stiffler, says this was just like what happened to him.

“What they did when they first called was introduce themselves as a DIRECTV contractor and they were in the neighborhood and they could get it hooked up for a dollar without a social security number,” Stiffler said. “Then they asked if I had a laptop and if I could log into my DIRECTV account.”

The difference between this scam is the remote access to the computer shoemaker said,  which unfortunately is common for many computers.

“Tech companies utilize remote software to troubleshoot computers so it's pretty common but then again once you give that access to your computer up you've given up every possible bit of information stored on that computer,” Shoemaker said

Stiffler said the only information he gave the caller was his phone number.

“I never gave my social security number i never gave them anything,” Stiffler said. “Then the next day i noticed I got a ding on my credit from DIRECTV.”

Shoemaker said the best way to prevent being scammed is to know who’s calling you.

“If they represent a company or agency, like banks or utility companies then call the confirmed number you already know and are they actually telemarketing for the moment.” Shoemaker said. “Those companies are never going to ask for your financial information over the phone. If they call you they’ll never ask for your financial information.”

If you get a call from someone impersonating a DIRECTV representative or Microsoft call your local law enforcement officer.

(Editor's note: KOMU.com has updated this story to correct a spelling error.)

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