Thursday, November 14, 2013

WARNING! "Micorsoft" Scam - Be Aware and Protect Yourself

I received a call from a blocked name and number this morning (alert #1), and instead of ignoring it, I decided to see what sales pitch was coming in today. I was surprised by this one as it was a malicious scam that anyone can easily fall for, so that's why I'm blogging about it.

The caller, who had a very strong Indian accent, identified himself from Microsoft and said my Microsoft Windows program was alerting them that I had a malicious program on my computer. Alert warning number 2. Microsoft DOES NOT do this!!!! He proceeded to tell me about the computer registered to my name. Nope - warning number 3. I questioned him about that because there is no way that could be possible. He read off my name and address (easily obtainable anywhere) and said they were receiving numerous warnings from my PC.

Still not much of a problem - expecting a sales pitch for an antivirus, I was shocked by what he wanted me to do next. HERE'S THE PROBLEM... He wanted me to log into my PC and he'd walk me through steps to find the malicious virus/program. UHHHHH I don't think so! I told him my husband works in IT and just let me know what the problem is so that I can have him fix it. He got extremely cocky and said "Does he work for Microsoft?!!" My answer back was "He's certified so he knows what to do."

There was a pause and then the man said he'd call back later and speak to my husband and quickly hung up. I'd bet my bottom dollar he won't be calling back to talk to hubby.

So what would have happened it I had followed his instructions and sat at my PC to check on the "virus"? I would have ended up allowing the malicious caller to "piggy-back" my PC and gather personal information - credit cards, accounts, and even possible identity theft. 

How can you protect yourself from these scam artists? NEVER log on to your computer and follow any unsolicited phone caller's instructions to check or allow them to gain access of any of your computers: PC, laptop or tablet. The only time you would allow this is if you initiate a call to technical support yourself when you have problems - weather it is your internet provider or computer support. They will NEVER initiate the call telling YOU about YOUR problems. 

For more information about this scam, what to do if you did allow access, as well as where you can report it, visit Microsoft's website at:
http://www.microsoft.com/security/online-privacy/avoid-phone-scams.aspx
and


2 comments:

  1. To date I have gotten four calls about this and my last one wasn't really nice. I basically told him it was a scam and I am not an idiot and oh btw the RCMP is aware of this. He hung up on me LOL

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  2. Four calls! It's awful how people are taken advantage of by these ruthless scammers. Did you by any chance see the article/video that wired.uk had published about this? In the video you can see what happens when you don't pay up. SHAMEFUL!! Here's the link in case you are interested:
    http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-04/11/malwarebytes

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