It’s been happening for a while now, but there seems to be a recent surge in the amount of phone calls people are receiving. Don’t become a victim, know what to look for, and how to protect yourself.
Firstly Microsoft will NOT call you about malware/viruses on your computer. If you receive a phone call from someone saying they are with Microsoft, and that they detected that there is something malicious in nature running on your computer, you can be certain that it is a scam. It would be best to just hang up on them without saying anything.
What are these scammers trying to get out of these phone calls? Any number of things really, but the following are the most common reasons they are calling you:
- To trick you into installing malicious software that could capture sensitive data, such as online banking user names and passwords. They might also then charge you to remove this software.
- To convince you to visit legitimate websites (like www.ammyy.com) to download software that will allow them to take control of your computer remotely and adjust settings to leave your computer vulnerable.
- Request credit card information so they can bill you for phony services.
- Direct you to fraudulent websites and ask you to enter credit card and other personal or financial information there.
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.
Do not trust unsolicited calls. Do not provide any personal information.
Here are some of the organizations that cybercriminals claim to be from:
- Windows Helpdesk
- Windows Service Center
- Microsoft Tech Support
- Microsoft Support
- Windows Technical Department Support Group
- Microsoft Research and Development Team (Microsoft R & D Team)