MAINE — Computer viruses are scary, and scammers exploit this fear to gain access to your personal information. According to AARP Fraud Watch Network, scammers do this by tricking you into thinking your computer or other device has been compromised, and that you need their help to fix the problem.

The Federal Trade Commission notes that some scammers will pretend to be working for trusted or familiar software companies such as Microsoft. They may ask you to give them remote access to your computer, and then charge you for new software downloads, unnecessary repairs, products, or services.  They may also install malware on your computer.

If you have been scammed, contact your credit card company to reverse the payment. Take the necessary steps to rid your computer of any damaging malware, too. You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, and report the scam to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. For information, visit

Be a fraud fighter. If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam. Report scams to local law enforcement. For help from AARP, call 1-877-908-3360 or visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at

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