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Home >  Blog >  Phone Scam - Microsoft Issued A Warning

Phone Scam - Microsoft Issued A Warning

Posted by Eurobyte on 10 July 2012

We warned our clients about this scam some time ago and we're writing about this again because it looks like these scammers are back (were they ever gone?).

This is how it works: Scammers call pretending they’re from a well-known tech company (e.g. Microsoft). Sometimes they don’t even bother pretending they’re from a known company but because they sound professional and genuine people trust them. They trick people into believing there is something wrong with their computers. In many cases computer owners are directed to their computer and asked to open a program called Windows Event Viewer. Its contents are, to the average user, worrying: they look like a long list of errors, some labeled 'critical'.

Windows Event Viewer

"Yes, that’s it," says the caller. "Now let me guide you through the steps to fixing it." The steps include taking remote control over the machine in order to fix "problems". In the end the scammers ask for payment for the "services provided". Sometimes people even subscribe to "computer maintenance" and have funds taken off their bank accounts or credit cards on a regular basis. So, the main issues with this are:

  • There was never anything wrong with the computer (error messages in the Windows Event Viewer often relate to trivial matters),
  • The caller is not working for Microsoft (or any tech company), and
  • People have given complete strangers access to every piece of data on their machines.

Over past few months we’ve seen a number of customers becoming victims of this scam. In 2010 Microsoft Australia issued an official scam warning and although this warning is two years old, the threat still seems to be very real (click here to read the warning). "Microsoft does not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer", the company says on its website (click here to read more). So, if you ever receive a call from "Microsoft", please just hang up.

Author:EurobyteConnect via:Twitter
Tags:Phone scamMicrosoft