93.9 BayFM Geelong
If you receive a phone call claiming to be from ‘Microsoft’ or someone claiming to work on their behalf, telling you that you have a virus on your computer which they will help you fix over the phone, It Is A Scam. Hang up the phone, do not let them have remote control access to your computer and do not give them any money.
This scam has been quietly doing the rounds in the UK and Ireland since at least 2009 but it appears to be on the rise. The scam goes like this;
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Customers should hopefully already have alarm bells ringing at the mention of credit card details and end the conversation. The software that they sell to fix the computer will do nothing except tell you every now and then that everything is fine, all viruses have been removed. But in reality, it could be downloading all sorts of malware to your computer.
However, part of the scam’s damage may already have been done when the customer downloaded the remote control software. This software could well have the capability to sit in the background for months or years, stealing personal information from the computer like bank login details and other personal details that could be used for identity theft purposes. These callers could also be using this software to infect your computer with real viruses and malware.
Quote from Microsoft:
“Microsoft takes the privacy and security of our customers and partners personal information very seriously. We are advising customers to treat all unsolicited phone calls with skepticism and not to provide any personal information to anyone over the phone or online. Anyone who receives an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft should hang up. We can assure you Microsoft does not make these kinds of calls.”
If you receive one of these unsolicited phone calls, hang up and do not download anything they ask you to. And definitely don’t hand over your credit card details, just because someone mentions the well known name ‘Microsoft’.
If you have allowed them to take control of your computer, or download their ‘fix’ software, it is possible they have infected your computer with a virus or other malware. To avoid the potential for identity theft issues and computer problems due to the viruses or malware that they may have downloaded, we would strongly recommend that you take your computer to a reputable computer repair shop to have it thoroughly checked out.