Telephone Tech Support Scams

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

Lately at The IT Surgery, we have had a huge increase in people calling in, asking if ‘Microsoft’ make unsolicited home calls demanding money for repairs you didn’t know you needed. Our answer is NO! Put the phone down immediately, and don’t give these criminals a chance.

Cybercriminals don’t just send fraudulent email messages and set up fake websites, they might also call you on the telephone and claim to be from Microsoft. They might offer to help solve your computer problems or sell you a software license. Once they have access to your computer, they can do the following:

Trick you into installingĀ malicious software that could capture sensitive data, such as online banking user names and passwords. They might also then charge you to remove this software.

Take control of your computer remotely and adjust settings to leave your computer vulnerable.

Request credit card information so they can bill you for phony services.

Direct you to fraudulent websites and ask you to enter credit card and other personal or financial information there.

Neither Microsoft nor their partners make unsolicited phone calls (also known as cold calls) to charge you for computer security or software fixes.

Telephone tech support scams: What you need to know

Cybercriminals often use publicly available phone directories so they might know your name and other personal information when they call you. They might even guess what operating system you’re using.

Once they’ve gained your trust, they might ask for your user name and password or ask you to go to a website to install software that will let them access your computer to fix it. Once you do this, your computer and your personal information is vulnerable.

Do not trust unsolicited calls. Do not provide any personal information.

Here are some of the organizations that cybercriminals claim to be from:

  • Windows Helpdesk

  • Windows Service Center

  • Microsoft Tech Support

  • Microsoft Support

  • Windows Technical Department Support Group

  • Microsoft Research and Development Team (Microsoft R & D Team)

If you have had one of these scam calls, your machine is at risk of infection, and your personal data, usernames and passwords are vunerable. Please bring in your machine to be checked over, we leave no stone unturned and will make sure your machine is safe and secure so you can go about your computing business as stress free as possible.

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