Microsoft and Other Technical Support Scams – Potential for Significant Damage
Everyone is a Target
Technical Support Scams in the News
If Microsoft calls to 'fix to your computer,' hang up. It's a scam.
SCAM ALERT: Fake Microsoft pop-ups, calls
What You Should Know
This is an equal opportunity scam. Consumer, small business, retirees and millennials have all been victimized. Scammers pose as Microsoft (or Dell) technical support representatives and call with concerns over your faulty or "vulnerable" system.
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How Does It Work?
Once these scammers get your attention, they'll try to get your money. They will attempt to nab your credit card and install worthless software on your machine, OR install software on your machine that sends everything you do back to them – keystroke monitors, etc. They might also setup websites with persistent pop-ups displaying fake warning messages and a phone number to call and get the "issue" fixed. They might 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 user names 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.
What You Should Do
Microsoft (or Dell, Apple) will never proactively reach out to you to provide unsolicited PC or technical support. Any communication that they have with you will be initiated by you. Also, note that Microsoft's error and warning messages never include a phone number.
If someone claiming to be from Microsoft tech support contacts you:
- Do not purchase any software or services.
- Ask if there is a fee or subscription associated with the "service." If there is, hang up.
- Never give control of your computer to a third party unless you can confirm that it is a legitimate representative of a computer support team with whom you are already a customer.
- Take the person's information down and immediately report it to your local authorities.
- Never provide your credit card or financial information to someone claiming to be from Microsoft tech support.
Our BEST Advice
Don't recognize the caller or number? Then let it go to voicemail. It's your best defense against scammers and robocallers.
How YouMail Can Help Stop Scams Today
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Definitely check out
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