I recently received a call from “Microsoft” saying that they were seeing a problem with my computer. I had heard about these calls, and simply said “yeah right” and hung up. As I was telling a friend about the call, she said that her husband had also received a call from them. He knew it was a scam, but he went along with them, asking them what he needed to do. Of course, they wanted access to his computer. He went along with them for as long as he could without actually downloading anything or doing anything that would grant them the access they wanted, then shouted “Do you think I’m stupid or what?!” and hung up on them.
And so, when I got another call from “Microsoft”, I went along with them for a while. It was kind of fun actually. When I had gone on for as long as I could, I said “Hey dude, why don’t you get a real job?”. The voice on the other end said “no, no, there is a problem with your…” and I said “Get a life! A legitimate life and quit trying to rip people off!! Is this what your mama raised you to be?!” And then I hung up. That really felt good. They called me on my land line (yes, I still have one for some reason) that is on the do-not-call list. As shown in the information below, the scammers will use pubic phone directories to get your name and number, so that must be how they got mine.
It’s been almost 2 years since I first heard about the Microsoft Tech Support call scams, but it looks like they are still alive and well and trying to get into our computers. So I am re-posting the warnings that went out so long ago:
If someone calls you from Microsoft tech support to help you fix your computer, mobile phone, or tablet, this is a scam designed to install malicious software on your computer, steal your personal information, or both.
Do not trust unsolicited calls. Do not provide any personal information.
What you need to know about tech support phone scams:
- Microsoft will not make unsolicited phone calls about computer security or software fixes. If you receive a call like this one, it’s a scam, and all you need to do is hang up.
- Cybercriminals often use publicly available phone directories, so they might know your name and other personal information when they call you. They might even guess what operating system you’re using.
- If you have already given access to your computer to someone who claimed to be from Microsoft, immediately change your computers password, download the Microsoft Safety Scanner, and then make sure you have antivirus software installed.
- If you gave someone your credit card information to pay for services, contact your credit card company and alert them to this fraudulent purchase.
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has received reports that criminals are taking advantage of consumers’ knowledge of the scam by calling to offer refunds for phony tech support. This is also a scam.
For more information, see Avoid tech support phone scams.
Again, please don’t fall for this. In fact, NEVER give out personal information to someone who called you. If you believe it is a legitimate call, tell them you will hang up and call them back. But don’t call a number they give you, look it up on your own! Also, tell people you know about the scam calls, especially the elderly. You’d be surprised how many people are trusting and will go along with someone they think is in authority, like someone from Microsoft, their bank or credit card company, or even the IRS. Yes, scammers are posing as IRS agents now.