Beware Of Phone Calls From Microsoft “Tech Support”

by Stephen Cole on January 28, 2015

character holding a phoneFor the past year or so, I have been hearing reports from clients who were contacted via telephone by a person claiming to be from Microsoft tech support. They were informed that their computer was “reporting” to Microsoft that it was infected with malware or had other major problems that needed to be corrected immediately or else they were at risk of losing data or having passwords stolen, etc. The tech support person asked that they be allowed to remote into the client’s computer, and for a fee, remove the malware. Some customers fell for the ruse, allowed the person to access their computer and gave them a credit card number, only to have their computer infected with malware where there had been none before. Others have called and asked me if they should allow this person to “fix” their computer.

Microsoft has decided to come down hard on these charlatans and filed suit against several of the larger perpetrators of these scams: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2861595/microsoft-files-suit-against-alleged-tech-support-scammers.html. This may put a dent in some of these domestic operators, while others will carry on by off-shoring their operations. The bottom line is this: Microsoft never contacts anyone about a problem with their computer unless you initiate the call. Microsoft does not monitor your computer. If anyone claiming to be from Microsoft contacts you unsolicited via email or phone about a problem with your computer, they are a fraud. Do not engage with them and you will be fine.

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