Computer blogger: Research is the key to protecting yourself against internet scam

Man said person called asking for IP address

TAMPA - When Michael Former is home he is usually at his computer checking on his Fantasy sports leagues, playing bills and sending emails.

Since he holds a degree in computer science, he was immediately suspicious when he got a call from a man claiming to be a Microsoft employee.

The man told Former his computer had a virus, that he needed his IP address and wanted him to download software from "Teamviewer.com."

"I did not go through this. I did not download anything," Former said.

Chris Pagan with Tech News Central said Former did the right thing and warns no major computer corporation will ever call you.

"An IP address is essentially like your home address. You wouldn't want to give that out to anybody," Pagan said.

The scam is so common it got the attention from Microsoft which issued a warning to consumers so they don't fall for it.

Pagan said research is the key to protecting yourself against any internet scam.

"Look for a place that says support and see if there is any kind of issues with viruses or computer," he said.

As for "Teamviewer.com" Pagan called it an online remote control.  It is a program a scammer could possibly use to steal your personal information with just the click of a mouse.

"All you have to do is give anyone the password and you are able to access somebody's computer," said Pagan.

While a scammer could use a program like Team Viewer to access your information, it's a program that is normally used for remote support and online meetings, company spokesperson Andre Schindler told us.

Team Viewer is aware of the scammers, and wanted to shut them down.

"If anyone is contacted, please let us know," Schindler said. "You can help us solve these cases."

As for Former, he is just glad he did not fall for the scam.

"It is a handshake environment for hackers and for con-men to try and get into our lives," said Former.

If you're contacted by a scammer, you can contact Team Viewer via email. Their address is privacy (at) teamviewer.com.

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