Categorised in: Laptop Repair
The scam telephone calls is the latest scam to hit many computer users.
So this is how it works. You will receive a call from a annoymous caller claiming that they either work for Microsoft or a representative of Microsoft. They will sometimes even point you to a Microsoft accredited company list and name a company from that list.
Some of the companies they claim to be calling from are :
- Microsoft, Microsoft Tech Support , Microsoft Support
- Windows 7, Windows 7 Support, Windows Support, Windows Service Centre, Windows Maintenance Service, Windows 24/7 support
- Agent001 (www.agent001.net)
- AG Globals
- Ammyy Admin (ammyy.com) , mmyy (mmyy.com)
- Comp Step
- Iglobalsonline (www.iglobalsonline.com)
- Max Global IT
- Online Pc Care
- Online Tech mate
- PC Experts
- TechonSupport ( www.TechonSupport.com)
- Logmein123 (www.logmein123.com) *
*Logmein is a legitimate support company that allows remote access for computer support. However scammers are taking advantage of their service. Logmein is removing scam users as and when they find them.
Some of these companies not using the Microsoft name may actually exist and the scammers are likely to be using their names without the company’s permission to gain your trust. They may also be companies using under hand tactics to get your business by cold calling and getting you to sign up to their maintenance contracts.
They will then tell you that your computer has problems such as any of the following :
- PC was downloading malicious files
- PC uploading malicious files
- Several errors on the computer.
- Your computer is crashing
- Your comptuer has a deadly Virus
- Your Computer is highly infected
- Your computer is spreading spyware
- Your computer is spreading viruses
- Your computer is sending emails with viruses/spyware
Then they will offer to fix this “problem” for you. Now this is where the phone call turns nasty. They may ask you to look through your computer and read out some numbers etc. All again to gain your trust. Once they are happy they have gained your trust they will do one of a few things:
Ask for payment in return for their help to remove the “problems”
Take you to a website and ask for payment for software/support.
Get your to goto a website and download some free software that will then fix it.
Eitherway they are trying to get money out of you by either directly asking you to pay for their help or via installing data stealing software. All they want to do is steal your money and/or personal data.
If you recieve one of these calls my best advice is to either hang up immediately or if you are feeling like having a bit of fun just let them waste their money on the phone call. You could tell them the computer takes 10mins to load and then just go make a cup of tea, before hanging up. Anwyay Im sure you guys can be more imaginative than that…. just have some fun. At the point it becomes more expensive to make the phones with no success is the point they will surely stop making them. My motto hit them where they are trying to hit you … the pocket !!!!
What ever you do …. DONT give them access to your pc or your credit card details.
Anyway here is some more info from microsoft about the scams:
Finally just remember, Microsoft does not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer
What to do if you are a victim of a Computer based Telephone Scam
if you are from the UK you can report the scam here Action Fraud
If you are from the USA you can report the scam here Federal Trade Commission
Other Countries should have similar support sites that they could contact.
If you feel you have been a victim of this type of scam the only real way you can feel totally safe. Is to backup your documents and wipe the computer back to its factory settings. This sets the software to its original state when you first bought it. If you do not have any factory restore disks or not sure how to achieve this you could contact the computers manufacturer for support.
In addition to wiping the computer i would also change your passwords to sensitive sites. This includes anything that you might purchase items through or bank through. You may wish to go the whole hog and change all your passwords.
Cancel Credit Cards
So now you have a clean computer, new passwords. You may also want to consider getting new credit / debit cards. That way if they stole this information you can feel safe in knowing they cannot use it.
I know thats alot of things to do or change, but unfortunately its the only way to be sure that you have protected yourself. I Hope this information has been of help and that if you have been a victim of a scam you will be more vigil and make sure others around you are too.