Here's another one!  It seems like Ken and I are warning you of a new scam every week!  Being aware and knowing how to handle it should you be a target will help you avoid a lot of headache and potential save you a lot of lots $$$.  The latest scam is using the Microsoft name and will come over the phone.

The call may sound innocent enough.  They will call and say they are from Microsoft offering to answer any questions you have about your computer or sell you a software license.  Don't give them access to your computer!!!  According to the Duluth Police Department Cybercriminals could do one or more of the following:

  • 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.
  • 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.

Just as banks and the IRS say they would never call and ask for personal information over the phone, neither would Microsoft.

 The DPD also say that there are telephone tech support scams.  This is what they say about them:

  • 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.

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)

There are some cases where Microsoft will work with your Internet service provider and call you to fix a malware-infected computer.   The difference is, these calls will be made by someone with whom you can verify you already are a customer. You will never receive a legitimate call from Microsoft or our partners to charge you for computer fixes.

Keep your guard up, be aware and don't give out personal information without verification!