Iowa State University

ITInformation Technology

Scam Alert: Fake Solution Center Call

This news item expired August 1, 2012. It may contain out-of-date information.

The Solution Center was recently notified about an attempt to get confidential information from an ISU student employee. The caller identified himself by the name of an ISU employee, who claimed he worked for the "Windows Service Center". The person requested confidential information about the ISU system and asked the employee to install software on their computer. The employee refused, at which point the caller became belligerent.

This is a good example of a social engineering scam. In similar cases elsewhere, the recipient of the call was told that there was something wrong with their computer. The caller requested permission to connect to the computer remotely to "fix" the problem, and charged a large amount of money to their credit card for the "repair". In other cases, the caller asked for the recipient's username and password. Often the caller claims to work for Microsoft.

ISU doesn't have a Windows Service Center, and ITS will never ask for your credentials or your credit card number in an unsolicited phone call. Microsoft will not call you about a problem with your computer either. If you receive such a call, just hang up. Iowa State University, Information Technology Services, or the Solution Center will never ask you for your password over the phone. While we may contact you about a problem with your computer, we will not ask you to connect to a third-party service (like teamviewer.com) to fix it remotely. Supported workstations already have remote access software installed, and if you're a CorePlus customer we may ask your permission to connect to your computer remotely using that. If you're not CorePlus, we won't ask to connect to your computer. If you are ever unsure about someone requesting access to your computer or your personal information, ask the caller for their name and the ticket number, and tell them you'll call back. Then hang up and call 294-4000, give the ticket number, and ask to be transferred to the consultant.