At CCL we have noticed a sharp increase in calls coming in about the Microsoft Phone Scam that was prevalant a year or so ago. In this post we hope to put your mind at ease and make you aware of the reality, so hopefully you won't have to worry if you get the call.
We have already written an aricle about some of the other scams that are hiding in the depths of the internet, which can be read here.
So onto what we are going to talk about today. The so called "Tech Support Phone Scam" and quite simply it goes like this: You get a call out of the blue from a person purporting to be calling from companies such as Microsoft, Sky or even "Your Computer Manufacturer" they mention that your PC has been sending them errors and they offer to show you them, they also mention that they can help fix them, but do not mention that there is often a fee.
First and foremost, do not believe this or the "errors" they show you, the screen they tend to show you is the Microsoft event viewer and Microsoft event viewer logs a lot of things that are completely innocuous. You also have to remember neither Microsoft nor their partners make unsolicited phone calls (also known as cold calls) to charge you for computer security or software fixes.
If you are experiencing issues with your PC, still don't let them do anything, put the phone down and contact the person or company that built or provided the PC or Laptop, or even a local computer shop, they can ofter offer help and advice on any issues you may be experiencing.
The reasons for not allowing them access to your PC are quite simple as Microsoft say in the Article linked here :
- They can trick you into installing 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.
So to summise, if someone calls claiming to be from Microsoft technical support or any other company: do not purchase any software or services they offer, never give control of your PC to them, if possible take the caller's information and pass it to your local authorities and as always be vigilant.
Some more useful information for people in West Yorkshire can be found on the West Yorkshire Police's website which is linked here