Hi, It's Microsoft, Nope and Goodbye, Click!
More than a few clients of ours have been telling us that they have received a phone call, allegedly from MICROSOFT. The caller claims that they have been getting reports that the computer in the house is having errors, has a virus infection or has been compromised by hackers. After getting details from the client in regards to the call itself we explain that although there is always a risk of errors, viruses.... or bring hacked the call itself was fake and that there is no way MICROSOFT or anyone associated with them would be calling you
this phone call is a scam
- They will say that they are getting reports of errors.
- They will frighten you with the consequences of these issues or errors, most likely data loss, identity theft or other ominous outcomes.
- They will explain that they can fix it for a single charge or a yearly service contract.
- They will ask you to allow them onto your system and show you the "errors". An example is provided HERE from our computer.
- If you give them credit card info, they will charge you, install a ton of programs that are harmful, intrusive and possibly cause many of the things that they are "claiming" to fix.
- They will most likely also let you know that this repair is going to take advanced cleaning and there is a second charge for that.
After all is said and done, they have your credit card information, possibly your bank information, and remote access to your computer, (where they could be downloading information without your knowledge) and most likely you have an infected computer. NONE of which are good.
What to do when / if you get this phone call:
- Get the company name, person's name, and phone number at which you can call them back.
- Promptly hang up! They will most likely call back. Persistence is a tool they use to convince you they are real.
What should happen IF you have given them permission to remote into your computer and/or given them your financial information?
- Turn your computer off
- Call your bank and initiate a dispute for the charges
- Change your Credit Card numbers
- Change your Passwords to everything, most importantly to your email.
- Call us and bring the system in to us as soon as you can.
- The only way to ensure (100%) that they do not have any remote access, spyware/viruses or data collection software on your computer is to reload the operating system and clean the data.
- Without a reload of the operating system, we cannot not guarantee the system would be completely clean.
- File a police report. We do not know what it would be classified as, but it should at least be on file with a law enforcement agency.
We have talked to the police and they have recommended filing a complaint with them. We have also sent press releases to local news agencies (CBS, NBC, ABC & FOX) but we have not heard anything back from them.