Telephone scams for computer viruses and printer supplies

Good morning Faculty and Staff:

We pray that you are finishing well as we wind down the spring semester. Over the last month or so, we have received scattered reports of two telephone scams that are happening to campus staff and faculty. Please be wary as you answer the phone and your email and make sure that you are talking to legitimate people and are not being scammed into giving away information to fraudulent third parties.

Scam #1: Your computer is full of Viruses

We have received reports – indeed, our own techs have received calls – from someone claiming to be from Microsoft telling them that their computer is full of viruses and wanting to remotely access their machine to ‘fix’ it. DO NOT LET THEM access your computer! They will walk you through accessing system logs on your computer and try to tell you that the entries in the log are evidence that your computer is infected.

So you may ask how you can tell whether a call you receive is legitimate.

  • First of all it will emanate from a campus telephone, so check the callerID on your telephone.
  • Second, it is very rare that one of Malone’s tech’s will cold call you about an issue (it does happen on occasion), so be wary if you receive a call that you did not ask for.
  • If you have any doubt about whether a call is legitimate, tell us. We will not be offended. Ask us a question about an event or coworker. Ask us to come on site rather than remotely access your computer.


Scam #2: I maintain your printer and want to ship you supplies

Several administrative assistants have reported receiving calls from outside groups saying they are in charge of their printer and need to get information so that they can ship them supplies. This is also a scam. While we do contract with MT business technologies for maintenance of both our copiers and printers, they would not call you up and need to get information from you to ship you supplies. Here is a checklist to avoid this type of scam:

  • Each printing and copying device on campus has a contract ID and a designated contact in whatever department it is located. If they cannot tell you what the contract number on the device is, then they are full of bologna.
  • NEVER pay an invoice for toner, paper, or copy-machine staples. Departments are NEVER directly charged for laser toner; you are instead billed per page at a rate that matches the cost to operate whatever device you send the job. That rate includes maintenance, paper, toner, and related supplies.
  • When in doubt, call the IT department and we can check the legitimacy of the third party caller. The scammers will likely hang up as soon as you let them know you are doing this.
  • If you are ever shipped toner (or other supplies) that is not from MTBT, please call the IT Help Desk immediately.

Please contact the IT Help Desk if you have any questions or issues. We can be reached via email at , via the web at or by phone at 330.471.8428.


One Response to Telephone scams for computer viruses and printer supplies

  • lucy says:

    Thanks for the heads up! This is one’s pretty common these days. I’ve read several complaints posted at and it’s sad how many people fell victim to the scam. Thousands have been lost so don’t be the next victim. Share this warning to family and friends, too.

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