The Federal Trade Commission recently posted on its website some advice about phone and tech support scams, one of the latest methods used by criminals to illegally access computers.

According the FTC:

In a recent twist, scam artists are using the phone to try to break into your computer. They call, claiming to be computer techs associated with well-known companies like Microsoft. They say that they’ve detected viruses or other malware on your computer to trick you into giving them remote access or paying for software you don’t need.

These scammers take advantage of your reasonable concerns about viruses and other threats. They know that computer users have heard time and again that it’s important to install security software. But the purpose behind their elaborate scheme isn’t to protect your computer; it’s to make money.

The WVU Medicine Information Technology Department urges employees to never share their password over the phone. No legitimate organization calls and asks for this information.

In addition, WVU Medicine IT staff members never need to know your password.

Do not share your password with anyone.

If someone asks for your password, credit card information, or Social Security number over the phone, hang up and report this as a security incident to WVU Medicine IT.