The Microsoft Scam phone call is something that has been around for a while but over recent months I have been receiving more and more calls from people telling me that they have had a phone call from Microsoft saying that there are a number of issues with their computer.
These people are NOT from Microsoft and have nothing to do with Microsoft they are scam artists trying to get some of your hard earned money.
This is something that has been around for a number of years in the UK and US and still they do not seem to have been able to close these people down (Possibly because they are based in a foreign country)
The Microsoft scam phone call
Although I have never had a call from these people myself a number of customers of mine have so I have been able to piece together what they are trying to do.
The lady or gentleman that rings you will claim to be from Microsoft or some department of Microsoft. They do this as everyone knows the name Microsoft and even the most inexperienced user generally knows their computer runs Microsoft so it gives them some authority. They will claim that your computer has a virus or malware infection or that windows has problems that need to be resolved and that they have been notified of it. They may even try asking if your computer has been running slow or if you have had a slow internet speed recently.
They ask these questions because they are very common problems that most computer users have at some time and if when they are lucky enough to call when you have experienced this lately it adds weight to their argument that you have a virus or something is seriously wrong with your computer (A slow internet connection or pc can be caused by many things and is extremely common)
After trying to convince you that your computer has an infection they will become very friendly and tell you that they can remote connect and get the nasty infection cleaned up for you and your computer back running secure. Obviously this costs money and the prices vary from £40 to £70. If you accept you are unlikely to see your money again and run the risk of malicious software being installed on your computer.
Why do they do this?
There are 2 main reasons.
1. To get your money. By scaring you into thinking that your computer is infected they know you will do anything to get it cleaned up. Unfortunately in my experience they target the older generation who may not be as comfortable with technology as some. Sometimes they even install free software to mock doing a cleanup of your system.
2. They install malicious software on your computer that could do any number of things from logging keystrokes to taking remote control of the computer and installing further malicious software.
What Should I do?
If you receive one of these Microsoft scam phone calls you should hang up. Microsoft will not make unsolicited phone calls to help you with your computer. If you receive a phone call like this, hang up.
If you have already receive a Microsoft scam phone call and given credit card details to one of these companies contact your credit card company as soon as possible to get the transaction cancelled. You should also run a malware and virus scan on your computer to ensure no malicious software has been installed on your computer. Check the following post on our site
The most important thing to remember if you receive one of these Microsoft scam phone calls is to not give them any personal information that they can use.
The below sites allow you to check the number that calls you and you can get feedback from others who have recieved calls from this number to see if the caller is genuine.
CalllerCentre – US (Thanks to Gru for the link)
Who Calls Me – UK