So, you’re sitting at home, perhaps on your computer and perhaps not, but the telephone rings. On the other end is a very friendly person who identifies themself as an employee of Microsoft who, while monitoring your computer noticed that you were infected with a virus, malware, spyware or whatever the latest buzz word for malicious software is and they’re calling you to take care of it. It sounds official and, more importantly, it sounds urgent, there’s no time to confirm who they are or call your ‘regular’ IT guy, you’ve gotta fix this NOW. Thankfully, the nice person on the other end of the phone offers to remote into your computer and fix it for you. Unfortunately, the person on the other end of the phone is a scam artist and, if you let them on (or navigate to their website or click a link in an email, etc.), chances are they now have the same or more access to your computer than you do.
I’ve covered this before (links below) but we’ve got a few of these computers in the shop and I’ve heard a few folks talking about these ‘support calls’ and wanted to spread the word. To be clear, Microsoft is not going to call you to tell you that you have a virus. If anyone calls you to tell you that you have a virus and it’s not someone that you know, it’s a safe bet that it’s a scam. Keep your computer up to date, keep your antivirus up to date and use a personal firewall (Cisco, Linksys, Netgear, Asus, Western Digital and others all make decent home use products) and, if you think that you have a problem, contact a local tech support professional.
- 18 November 2013 – Scam Alert : the fake support calls are going around again
- 25 October 2013 – Fake Windows / Microsoft Support “phone calls”