What Should You Do About the “Microsoft Tech” Support Scam?

What Should You Do About the “Microsoft Tech” Support Scam?

Anyone claiming to be from “Microsoft tech” or “Windows” should be expected to know if there was a virus on your PC, right? And when they guide you into checking the Windows Event Viewer (where harmless errors are logged) and reading out a string of numbers, they usually manage to snare you into their swindle. After all, you don’t want to lose your hard work, or be without your computer due a virus, right?

The objective of this type of scam is to talk you into installing remote software on your computer, so that they then can take control. Once control is taken, this will either allow them to steal data, introduce a Trojan horse or other malware (the remote software itself may be a malicious tool) or just perform a bit of “tech support theatrics” to make it seem as though they know what they’re doing.

Once the “virus” is discovered the scammer will, of course, demand money for their services of “removing” it. This can go a number of directions, but if you refuse, there is the possibility that the scammers have remotely changed your password or encrypted your files, transforming this into a one-on-one ransomware scam.

How do you handle a scam call?

  • Hang up the phone when you identify that the call is uninvited.
  • Do not allow remote access to your computer.
  • Never divulge passwords or pin numbers.
  • Microsoft nor anyone on their behalf will ever call you.

Last, if you paid a “Microsoft tech” support scammer to “remove” a “virus”, call your credit card company right away. Tell them you have been scammed, and they should cancel the transaction. You should also change the password for your credit card account… and all other passwords you use, too.

By giving your credit card details to the scammers to pay for their “service”, you’re also likely to give them the information they need to use your card. By sharing the 16-digit number, the valid until date and the three-digit number on the reverse, you’ve essentially given them everything they need to steal from you. Remember, they called you: this is not a safe way to conduct business!