Global Newsletter November 2010
If you answered your phone and it was Microsoft, telling you that your computer had a problem and they could fix it, should you believe them? What if they said they were your internet provider? Unfortunately this telephone scam leads innocent computer users to hand over their credit card details and allows an unknown person full remote access to their computer.
The caller pretends to be from some reputable internet provider or Microsoft itself, telling the victim they are following up on a report of a computer problem or virus infection that has been detected on their computer. They then direct the victim to visit a website to install software that allows the scammers full remote control of the computer. Then, they spend some time opening log files and other system areas to show where the problems are and convince you to pay a subscription fee for them to fix everything.
They now have your credit card details and full access to your computer and all of your personal information.
Computer Troubleshooters franchisees worldwide have seen a recent increase in this alarming scam, especially in the USA, the UK and Australia. Law enforcement agencies, Microsoft and other major technology companies have issued press releases warning of these calls. Stuart Strathdee, Microsoft Australia’s chief security adviser says “Do not be fooled. Microsoft is not cold calling consumers in regards to malfunctioning PCs, viruses or any other matter.”
In reality, Microsoft, your internet provider and other third-party companies do not have access to see any errors on your computer. They also can’t match your computer to your home telephone number.
If you or someone you know has fallen victim to this scam, call your local Computer Troubleshooter. We can thoroughly investigate your computer and remove all traces of their remote control software, to give you peace of mind that they can no longer access your system. You may also want to consider calling your credit card company, cancelling your current account, and requesting a new account number.
To combat these spammers, the best thing you can do is to spread the word to your friends, family and colleagues to never give an unknown person remote access to their computer. If you receive a call of this nature, simply hang up on them. Develop a trusted relationship with your local Computer Troubleshooter. They can use secure software tools to remotely monitor your computer for problems and give you the best advice on how to address them.