Don’t Get Caught By The PC Support Telephone Scam
Picture the scene:
You are sat at home enjoying your tea, watching the television or perhaps surfing the web on your computer or laptop?
Suddenly the telephone rings and you are greeted by a polite voice claiming to be from a well-known multinational technology company, namely Microsoft, Windows, Facebook or Google telling you that their computer servers have detected that your computer is infected with a virus or malware.
The person at the other end of the line then goes on to tell you that they are currently looking at the data your computer is sending and fortunately for you, they are able to help!
So how can they help your “infected” computer you ask? Simple, you have to allow them remote access to your machine so they can install their “magic” software that will erase all the infections and make you safe again.
If the previous paragraphs sound familiar, then you already know that this isn’t the faceless, Multinational Corporations improving their Customer Relations by proactively helping their customers to sort their computer related problems, but in fact a very well organised and very lucrative group of scam artists out to remove you of your hard earned cash!
So how does this scam work?
Firstly, there are NO infections on your computer that their servers can detect, I would actually be surprised if there were even any servers! If you do fall victim to the initial call, you would be expected to pay anywhere up to £200 to allow the caller to remote onto your computer and install their software, which by the way does absolutely nothing, there was nothing to clean in the first place!
Once you have paid your money and let the caller on, the bad news does not stop there. Whilst the caller is remotely logged onto your computer, they will proceed to “have a look” at your document files for anything that may contain passwords, bank details, personal information etc., copying off interesting files to their machine as they snoop around. It also possible for the scammer to leave malware infections on your computer, for future use.
So how lucrative is this scam?
In a recent publication, Microsoft have revealed that this scam has netted the scammers somewhere in the region of £1 billion, with more than 3.3 million Americans falling victim to the scam in 2015 alone. Microsoft say they have had over 175,000 complaint calls about the scam calls since May 2014.
What should I do if I get a call?
According to Courtney Gregoire, a senior lawyer in the digital crimes unit at Microsoft, anyone who gets a call should just “hang up the phone”.
REMEMBER MICROSOFT NOR ANY OF THE OTHER COMPANIES MENTIONED WILL EVER PHONE YOU ASKING FOR REOTE ACCESS NOR ANY PAYMENT INFORMATION!