If the victim does catch on after the 'free' scan that this is a scam and they don't give up financial information, the damage has already been done.
"I'm calling from Microsoft. We have had a report from your internet service provider of serious virus problems from your computer..."
That's how this scam starts-- with a phone call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft.
It's followed up with an offer to fix the viruses for free, but when they take control of your computer they download real viruses and software that leads to mass malware infections.
That's when they say it's much worse then they thought and now it will cost a few bucks to fix. Anywhere from $150 to $250 dollars, to be exact, and when they get your credit card number, the call usually ends.
But Jason Denovich of New Look Computer and Data in St. Johns says that's not the end of the scam. Not only are they using your credit card, but the malware they installed on your computer is recording all your computer strokes and sending them back to the scammers.
"If the victim does catch on after the 'free' scan that this is a scam and they don't give up financial information, the damage has already been done," says Denovich. "The computers we have had coming in are full of alarming malware."
Denovich says he's getting five calls a day from this scam that targets seniors mostly.
"I think one of the real reasons the scammers have had success, is when they take remote control of your computer, everything they do on the screen looks very professional and legitimate."