Microsoft Phone Scam

AntEater [A]
Reputation: 39
July 10th  2014 18:09
The first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name of this scam is probably that Microsoft is scamming people over the phone. The software giant is NOT behind this scam, but there are people using the company’s name to make their phone call sound legitimate.

The scammers get your contact information from a phone directory or the white pages. Then, they call you and try to scare you by saying your computer is at risk and you need to act fast to save your data. Over the years, the scammers who have not been caught yet are getting better at convincing people to let them remotely access computers and provide payment information.

For your benefit, we’ll cover these about the Microsoft Phone Scam:

5 Signs that Tell You the Call is a Scam
6 Steps to Stop the Scam in its Tracks
6 Things You Should Do If You Have Fallen Victim to the Scam


5 Signs that Tell You the Call is a Scam


Scammers are people who aim to dupe people out of their personal information and money. They come in many forms and have been around for a long time. The Microsoft Phone Scam is just one of the many scams out there, and it has been around since 2009. Here are four signs that will let you know that phone call you have answered is a scam:

1. They say that they are calling from Microsoft.
Unless you called Microsoft at their legitimate phone number recently and they said they will call you back, it is a scam.
2. They claim that they have been monitoring your computer.
The person on the other line tells you that your computer has critical errors or viruses and your data is at risk of getting deleted or corrupted to alarm you. Do not believe this at all. Microsoft does not monitor your computers for errors and viruses then call you about it.
3. They ask you to pay for their software, services or a subscription to fix your computer.
These scammers will ask you to provide your credit card information or go to a fraudulent website to enter your payment information. Microsoft would never call you to fix your computer and ask you to pay for it.
4. You are given a limited amount of time to deal with the “problem.”
This is just a ploy to scare you into compliance by saying that you only have several minutes or hours to deal with the issue before your computer completely crashes.
5. The number appears as anonymous or unknown on your caller ID.
Reports from people who have encountered such calls indicate that the phone number appear as unknown or anonymous. Others who do see the number calling them find that when they call it back, it is unavailable.


6 Steps to Stop the Scam in its Tracks


After determining that the call is a scam, do any of these things:

1. Hang up the phone.
Do not spend another second on the phone with the scammer. The person you are talking to is just going through a list of people and phone numbers looking for someone to con.
2. Do not provide your personal and financial information to unsolicited calls.
They can easily use your financial information to get your money, and even steal your identity.
3. Do not go to a website that would let them access your computer or download a software to “fix” your computer.
Even when they do not ask you to provide your financial information on the phone, they can still get it by installing malware on your computer that sends your personal information and passwords to them. Do not give them the chance to install such software on your computer.
4. Get the caller’s information.
Ask the caller for information such as their name, location and call back number then take note of it. Some callers may provide information that could help the authorities. Hang up and report them to the authorities.
5. Ask the caller if you need to pay for their software/service.
If they say yes, end the call. Microsoft would never call you and ask for your payment information to fix a computer problem.
6. Tell the caller you do not own a computer with Windows on it.
Since their scam is based on the assumption that you have a Windows computer, this could catch the scammer off guard, and basically make you useless to them.


6 Things You Should Do If You Have Fallen Victim to the Scam


What should you do if you’ve already given your information before you realized it was a scam? What steps should you take if the scammer was able to go on your computer? Keep calm and remember what information you provided the scammer. Recall as many details as you can and take note of everything. You will need this information when you report the incident to the authorities.

Here is how you take action to minimize the effect of the scam:

1. Call your bank.
Have the bank monitor or block transactions on your account. If you have multiple accounts, have them monitor all of them. If you have accounts in multiple banks, it would be wise to give them all a call. This is especially important if you provided them with your personal and financial information.
2. Do a system restore.
If the scammer was able to remotely access your computer, restore your computer to a previous state to undo and uninstall any software or damage they have done on your computer.
3. Update and run your security software.
Scan and cleanup your computer for any possible malware that they may have installed on your machine.
4. Change your usernames and passwords.
It would be a wise move to change your username and passwords for your emails, and online banking access. The scammers can use your email to access your accounts and reset your passwords.
5. Report the incident to the authorities.
You should report the call to your local authorities. The information you provide about the caller and the call could provide clues to locate the people behind the scam and prevent more people from getting scammed.
6. Tell everyone you know.
By telling people about your experience, you are spreading awareness about the scam. The more people who know about it, the fewer people the scammers can victimize.

The Microsoft phone scam has been going on for several years. Although some of the scammers have been caught and brought to justice, there are still many out there who are finding ways to make their con more believable. As a rule, if the call is unsolicited and the caller is asking for your personal information for you to make a payment, hang up. If you need to contact Microsoft about their software, call them at their number obtained from a legitimate source, such as their website or on documents that came with their product. Keep everyone safe from this scam by spreading the word about it and report any incident like this to your local authorities.
Reputation: 7
May 5th  2016 12:06
Had a call along these lines today from 001237451454 - a USA number.
Choose your name:- Anon.
 
 
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