"You just feel violated:" She was told her computer was filled with viruses, but it was all a scam

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- An alert for PC users: There's a new twist on an old phone scam. Someone claiming to be with Microsoft calls, gains access to a computer and installs viruses. So how can you avoid falling victim?

"He convinced me rather quickly that I needed his help," Sonjia Henderson, a victim in this scam said.

The man who called Henderson earlier this year seemed to be credible. He said he worked for Microsoft Tech Support, and claimed they were getting error messages from Henderson's laptop.

Henderson says the man told her they discovered her laptop was full of viruses.

"I'm writing a book.  I can't lose that information.  I can't lose my pictures," Henderson said.

That's why she was willing to pay the price to protect her computer.

"He said, 'well for $149 you can have our security for a year.  For $249, for two years,'" Henderson said.

Henderson gave the man her credit card information for the virus protection security, and she also followed steps to allow him remote access to her computer.

Fortunately, her credit card company flagged the purchase as suspicious, and didn't make the payment. The credit card company said the business name wasn't Microsoft -- instead coming up at "Gimitts Global."

"Thank God. I don't think they got anything that amounted to anything. You know, you just feel violated," Henderson said.

The Better Business Bureau says Henderson isn't alone, and more people are coming forward with similar experiences.

"It's something that's very common.  It's something, because of our use of computers and technology, we are really used to, so it doesn't seem abnormal to give somebody that kind of access," Kitt Letcher with the BBB said.

Henderson took her laptop to be cleaned of the viruses the scammers loaded -- and that's what experts recommend if you've fallen victim to this scam.

You're also urged to report any suspected online criminal activity to police and the Better Business Bureau.