Microsoft Tech Support Scam

Microsoft LogoWe’ve heard from a few customers who have recently received phone calls from “Microsoft support.” The caller reportedly claims Microsoft has “received reports” from the owner’s computer, indicating serious trouble. He or she then asks permission to connect remotely and investigate.

If granted remote access, the caller walks the owner through a series of bogus steps to prove the computer has infections, then offers to remove them. A few days later, the Windows operating system on the owner’s computer stops working and displays a message, offering a download link for software that will fix the problem. A cost is involved and, you guessed it, the owner is prompted to enter credit card information.

There are variations to this story, but the ending is always the same – the unsuspecting owner is held hostage by malicious software installed by the caller.

Microsoft does not typically make unsolicited phone calls, offering to fix your computer. In rare cases, Microsoft does work with Internet service providers to identify infected computers, and fix them for free. However, such calls are always made by someone with whom you can verify a customer relationship (such as your Internet company). You will never receive a legitimate call from Microsoft or its partners to charge you for computer fixes. These calls are scams. If you receive one, just hang up the phone.

For more information, check out this article on Microsoft’s website.

On April 19th, 2014, posted in: Helpful tips, Industry News by