Microsoft Tech Support: Phone Scam Overview
In the United States, 73% of the population owns a computer or laptop that they use on a daily basis to get their work done, or just to connect with friends and family via email and social media. Unfortunately not everyone is tech savvy and keeping a computer running efficiently can be quite difficult, especially if it's an older model.
There are so many different viruses out there that can harm your PC and compromise the sensitive personal data on it. It makes sense that people are willing to do whatever it takes to keep the information, documents and files on their computer safe. The Microsoft Tech Support phone scam takes advantage of this and has robbed a lot of people of their hard earned money. Below are some details on this scam so that you can avoid it.
The Ins and Outs of the Microsoft Tech Support Scam
This scam will usually start with a phone call from an individual claiming to be with Microsoft. They will tell you that they are calling to give you a free security check up. In order to view your desktop remotely, they will send you a link to click. If you click this link, you will basically be handing over control of your computer to the scammers. Once they have control, they can hold it for ransom until you pay them to unlock it.
There is another variation of the tech support scam in which the supposed Microsoft representative will call and tell you that your computer has a dangerous virus that needs to be removed. Before they can remove it, the scammers will ask you to pay a service fee. Many people who lack experience in the repair of computers will pay the phony Microsoft representative due to the fear of having a virus that will destroy their PC.
How to Handle This Scam
The best way to avoid being scammed is by staying calm if you get a call regarding your computer. No matter what the caller says remember that they have no way of knowing if there is a virus on it or not on your computer. As soon as the caller claims to have this type of intimate knowledge of your computer, you can quickly identify it as a scam. If the caller states that they are running a security check up also hang up. Microsoft will never call you unsolicited and ask for remote access to your computer.
Another element of the tech support phone scam that just doesn't add up is that Microsoft would charge for the free services that they offer. If you have a Microsoft operating system, you will be able to get free antivirus updates without having to do anything. The Windows Defender program will help you keep your computer free of harmful viruses and malware.
Anytime a person calls claiming to be from a large corporation, like Microsoft, be weary, hang up, and do your homework by contacting the company directly and asking them about the issue.
Reporting the Microsoft Tech Support Phone Scam
Any time that you feel like you have been targeted by a tech support scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission and Microsoft. By filing a report with the FTC and Microsoft you will be able to help in the fight to stop this phone scam.
You can also help warn others by leaving your feedback in CallerSmart's phone book on the numbers that are being used in phone scams. The more you help spread the word about phone scams, the harder it will be for criminals to take advantage of people!
To leave your feedback on a scamming phone numbers and check for suspicious behavior on unknown numbers that call you download CallerSmart's free reverse phone lookup app for iPhone and iPad. If you don't have an iPhone or iPad, don't worry! You can still leave your feedback and search phone numbers on our website.