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Police have warned of a surge in fake Microsoft phone scams targeting home computer users.

The scam occurs via a phone call from a person claiming to represent a well-known computer company, commonly associated with Microsoft, who claims the victim’s computer is infected by a virus and offers a fix.

The victim is then directed to a website that enables the scammer to control the victim’s computer and cause fake problems to appear, which can be rectified for a fee, or with a software purchase.

Fraud and corporate crime group detective superintendent Brian Hay said attackers will also load malware or trojans onto the victim’s computer.

“This is all just a scam. Microsoft has confirmed they are not cold-calling members of the community regarding viruses, computer problems or any other issue,” Hay said.

“Quite simply, these offenders are just looking to trick you into giving them money.”

“Giving someone you don’t know remote access to your computer is basically the same as handing your credit card details over to them,” Hay said, adding that scammers could easily steal banking and personal details from a victim’s computer.

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