How to protect yourself from Microsoft tech support scams.
Microsoft Safety and Security Center has reported on the increase of Microsoft tech support scams by cyber-criminals in 2016. If someone claiming to be from Microsoft technical support contacts you:
- Do not purchase any software or services.
- Ask if there is a fee or subscription associated with this “service”. If there is, hang up the phone.
- Never give control of your computer to another person unless you can confirm that it is a legitimate representative of a computer support team, with whom you are already a customer.
- Never provide your credit card information to someone claiming to be from Microsoft tech support.
Avoiding technical support scams: What you need to know.
Cyber-criminals don’t just send fraudulent email messages. They might call you on the telephone and claim to be from Microsoft. Also, these crooks have setup websites with persistent pop-ups displaying fake warning messages with a phone number to call to get the “issue” fixed. Many will offer to help solve your computer problems or sell you a software license. Once they have access to your computer, they can do the following:
- Trick you into installing malicious software that could capture sensitive data, such as online banking usernames 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.
Microsoft does not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer.
In this scam cyber-criminals call you and claim to be from Microsoft Tech Support. They offer to help solve your computer problems. Once the crooks have gained your trust, they attempt to steal from you and damage your computer with malicious software including viruses and spyware.
If you receive an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft Tech Support, hang up the phone!
Microsoft Safety and Security Center https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/safety/online-privacy/avoid-phone-scams.aspx