BINGHAMTON, NY – The Broome County Sheriff’s Office is warning of a new computer scam that has targeted an older community member, scamming them out of almost $13,000.

The Sheriff’s office calls it the Mircosoft Windows Virus Alert Pop-up Scam. It’s a new ‘technical support’ scam that targets those with computers. Those behind the scams use social engineering tricks to manipulate the victims into thinking they need their devices fixed.

Most likely, victims are asked to pay the scammers to remove fake viruses or make fake repairs. The worst thing a victim can do in this situation is to grant them access to remotely login, where scammers can then see personal or financial information or have an opportunity to install malware.

Police report that in this specific situation, the victim was asked to purchase a number of gift cards and provide the scammer with the number on the cards.

Police remind everyone to never give out personal information and be wary of any pop ups. If you think your computer or device does need to be repaired, take it to a trusted repair shop.

If you think you may be targeted, police encourage computer users to call them before calling any numbers claiming to be Microsoft.

Additionally, there are no sites that can detect security problems, and warnings from Microsoft will never contain a phone number. No support tech will ask for payment in the form of gift cards.

If you see Microsoft Windows Virus Alert pop up on your screen, it is important to waste no time in closing it.