It’s disheartening to see that the old Microsoft ‘Technical Support’ phone call scam is still very much alive and kicking. However, what’s good to know is that people are getting wise to it.
One of M35 Design’s clients had a call from ‘Microsoft’ today, and the client immediately emailed us asked if they were right in thinking it was a scam. You see scammers don’t just send fraudulent email messages with links to bogus websites. They may well call you and tell you that your computer is running slowly, or they can see it has viruses etc.
Often the person they’ve called might be having computer problems and so the call seems timely. ‘Microsoft’ (or they might claim to be from an ISP such as Virgin Media, Talk Talk etc.) then offer to mend the slow computer over the phone. Once they have access to your computer, they can do the following:
- Trick you into installing malicious software that could capture your financial information, e.g. online banking logins. They might also then charge you to remove this software.
- Take over your computer remotely and adjust its settings to leave it vulnerable.
- Ask for credit card information so they can bill you for their bogus services.
- Direct you to fraudulent websites and ask you to enter your financial information there.
- Delete files, software and hardware out of spite.
No stranger or organisation can know that your computer is running slowly, or it has a virus, not even your ISP and certainly not Microsoft! Only someone you’d asked to look at your computer could make such a diagnosis.
Neither Microsoft or their partners will ever make unsolicited phone calls to charge you for computer security or software fixes.
Here is an example of how such scammers operate. Also what happens if you play along with them (in this case they get spiteful and start trashing the ‘phone call recipient’s computer).