Watch Out For Fake Microsoft Support Calls

OrangePhone.jpgScammers are constantly coming up with new and creative ways to wreck computer security. As I report over at APC, the latest hoax to hit Australia is a telephone call claiming to be from either Microsoft or a security software firm, saying that an infection has been detected on your PC and offering to walk you through the fix process. Unsurprisingly, far from fixing the PC, the process completely compromises the machine, making it ripe for further exploitation. Adding insult to injury, the caller then asks for credit card details for a service fee. While most Lifehacker readers are probably savvy enough to avoid this kind of scam, it might be worth mentioning to any credulous friends or relatives. If you're looking to keep your machine secure, check out our Hive Five on the best antivirus software.


Comments

    Yup. I got one of these calls. Fairly easy to spot, though - Indian accent, bad phone line, obvious call centre noise going on in background, initial attempt to confirm name but then dropped in an attempt to convince me that my PC had some kind of infection.

    Got kind of confused when I told them I surf the internet using an abacus, a cucumber, and an ability to translate hexadecimal in my head.

    Every day for the past 6 six i have had a phone call in the evening from a indian male, asking me to turn on my computer and follow his directions. I kept hanging up on him until last night when i lost my cool and said this was bordering on harrassment. He then screamed at me down the line that he was going to 'track me down and kill me'.
    BEWARE!!!!!!!

    i got a call also from microsoft support claiming i had a fault with my pc and he would lead through the steps to fix the problem, obviously a scam from an indian call centre, but if i wasnt aware i may have fell for it, he did eventually give up but not before being rude and swearing down the phone,

    @ Ann-Marie I hope they don't
    But yes i was called and asked to turn my laptop on ( i had already been told about them though my grandmother) i just said yes take me though the process he started telling mi and i hanged up it was the last time i heard from them

    had a call last week from these guys,, i let them go through the whole you have a virus on your computer and it has come to their attention through the dns i have been using, they talked for about 15 min before i told them i didnt have a computer.... i only picked it up last week and got the internet connected at the same time......they would have had me convinced if i had the internet on though... from what i have been told they wanted to get access to my computer and this could have been disasterous if i help information about bank accounts... beware of ph calls...
    i have also found if you ask for them to send an email to verify what they are saying and so you have a copy they usually try nd get around it..

    yeah i got one last week. when i asked what company she worked for, she said 'the company that fixes microsoft computers'. i told her i couldnt do it right now, but could she give me her number and i'll call her back? she said 'yeah sure' and hung up

    I got a call last week as well. The Indian guy told me he was from Microsoft and that I had a virus on my pc and he could help me get rid of it. He told me to go and turn on my computer, so I said 'ok', then I put the phone down on the table (I didn't hang up) and just left the phone for about 15 minutes, then I hung up. I don't know how long he waited for me to come back to him but I hope he was badly inconvenienced!

    Had two calls one on friday and another one on today from someone saying that they were from Microsoft. They wouldn't give me their phone number or an e mail from they. I hung up.

    I get these calls on a daily basis! My favourite line is pretending to go through the steps, then asking what a computer is, or even telling them you're Armish. The trouble is, they normally have no idea what an Armish person is.

    But if i'm at home with someone, we do a series of swaps when they ask for the person, can normally swap the phone around 6 or 7 times before they catch on!

    what do you do if you think you may have been hit by this scam? We had someone access the main PC telling us of major viruses etc... we supposedly had major errors / 'criticals' on the computer, they stated our computer would crash etc... we did receive a disk in the mail ( but haven't done anything with it yet). Last night, we received another followup phonecall regarding the laptop. Same thing happened... major viruses etc... Do they now have access to our information - banking etc!!! ? We believed them but have since since started to doubt. Can we do anything about this? Can anyone help?

    My wife got this call today on her cell phone, when he wasn't listening to her so she handed the phone to me, then he started claiming that my computer was infected. We both knew that it wasn't real. Since at our house we don't run Windows. I told him I am a computer tech, but he didn't seem to listen. I also told him that I know he was a crook. And he was trying to act innocent. I eventually hung up. This is the first time we have gotten this type of phone call.

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