Technical Support Scams

by / Thursday, 18 June 2015 / Published in IT Support

Technical support scam:

Scammers pretend to be Microsoft technicians in order to get access to your computer and / or your banking information.

This scam has been around since 2009.  Normally, the scammer will call you and identify themselves as a Microsoft technician (or a company in partnership with Microsoft).  They will say your computer has a virus that is causing error messages and, if you do not correct the problem immediately, you risk damaging your PC.

Let’s get this straight, Microsoft will never contact you without you having contacted them first.  Do not believe what these people tell you when they call.  They will tell you they are a part of the tech support team when, in fact, they are not.  Often, they will begin like this: “I am calling from Microsoft. We recently got a request from your Internet provider stating that your computer has a virus”.  They will persist by warning you that, if the problem persists, your computer will become inoperable.  That is when they will offer to fix the problem for you.

The main goal of this kind of activity can vary depending on the scammer.  Sometimes it is to sell you an antivirus at high cost and often useless.  Others, under the pretense of selling a solution to your problem, will try to get your banking info.  Once they have obtained this information, they will take great pleasure in raiding your bank account. There are even those who just want to simply take control of your computer, this is the more common of scams.  They will ask you to check out a Website and to download a program.  Once done, they now have control of your computer.

In order to avoid a problem like this, hang up as soon as the person identifies themselves as a Microsoft representative.

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