BBB is alerting consumers of a phone scam in which the caller claims to be from Microsoft. The caller offers to solve a consumer’s computer problems or sell him or her a software license, all in an effort to gain remote control access to the consumer’s computer.
Microsoft states on their website the following:
Here’s another form of Internet fraud that combines a variety of other common scams—social engineering, fake security software, and phishing.
Cybercriminals have started calling people on the telephone, claiming to be from Microsoft, and offering to help solve their computer problems. Once cybercriminals have gained a victim’s trust, they can do one or more of the following:
- Trick people into installing malicious software on their computer.
- Take control of a victim’s computer remotely and adjust settings in order to leave the computer vulnerable.
- Request credit card information so that cybercriminals can bill for the phony services.
Microsoft will not make unsolicited phone calls to help you with your computer. If you receive a phone call like this, hang up.
Here are some of the organizations that cybercriminals claim to be from:
• Windows Helpdesk
• Windows Service Center
• Microsoft Tech Support
• Microsoft Support
• Windows Technical Department Support Group
•Microsoft Research and Development Team (Microsoft R & D Team)
BBB advises consumers follow these tips to protect themselves from scammers attempting to access their computer:
Go through your service provider directly. If you are concerned your computer may be exposed to viruses or other security threats, contact your service provider directly. Some providers offer free tools that can help detect and remove viruses.
Install virus detection. To help protect your computer from viruses make sure you have virus detection software installed on your computer. This software can also help identify if a virus appears on your computer.
Don’t trust cold calls. Never give out personal information, over the phone, to someone you don’t know. If the caller claims there is a security threat to your computer, hang up and call your computer company directly.
Find a computer repair company you can trust. Go to bbb.org