Microsoft or Windows Support Will Never Call You

The scam I will talk about today is not new, but I have not mentioned it on my blog before. Most folks know that they should be 100% suspicious when someone calls them out of the blue, as the only reason anyone (even the legitimate ones) calls you out of the blue is because they want some of your money. Do you want to give it to them?

This particular scam will have someone call and say they are from “Microsoft Support” or “Windows Support” or even “Windows Security”. They will say something similar to “Your machine has a lot of viruses according to the reports that we are getting” and “would you like for us to help you clean them up”?

If you stick with them they will show you piles of Windows errors in Event Viewer (bogus), or files in the prefetch folder (which they will call viruses), or something in msconfig that does not make sense to average users. Eventually they will ask to make a remote connection to your machine, but not normally until they have switched the person you are talking to (so the first one lied to you but the second one now has not, get it?).

No matter what happens do not give them a remote connection, and if thay caught you at a bad time and you were tricked into doing it then unplug your machine from the network or turn it off ASAP. They will try to get you to pay them money. Paying them is not a good idea, but the real damage comes from letting them on your machine. If this has happened to you, turn it off immediately and take it to a computer repair place that you trust and tell them the story of what happened.

They will use all kinds of Social Engineering, similar to EMails that come in with bogus subjects like “IRS Notice of under reported income”. You know something designed to get you out of your normal frame of mind. I recommend against staying on the phone and trying to play with these people, the only totally safe thing for you to do is hang up as soon as you realize it is not on the up and up and never answer again from that same number. Be aware that if they have called you once, they are likely to try you again in the future.

In the future I will post some strategies as to how to stop these folks from getting your number in the first place.

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