If Microsoft Calls, Hang Up

Many new Ducktoes clients have been victims of a phone scam where a caller from outside of Canada claims to be from Microsoft. The friendly and helpful caller convinces the client their computer is infected with viruses.  He sympathizes  and earns their trust.  And then persuades them to give him access to their computer and even (yes, even!) payment with their credit card number.  He remotely controls the computer and “fixes” it.  After hanging up, the client gets that hair-prickling-the-back-of- your-neck, you been compromised feeling and calls Ducktoes to ask if this was a legitimate repair service by Microsoft.  I don’t even have time to tut-tut, instead I say, yikes, or the stronger language “omg,” hang up immediately and call your bank or credit card company to turn off the credit card!  They are lucky if the purchase price is the only amount withdrawn.  It’s often too late to get the $200 – $300 back of the dubious virus removal and computer repair costs, but often prevents even larger amounts from being stolen.

Then at the shop we remove the keyloggers: software that records every keystroke you make, also known as the “betrayed lover” software because many people use it to catch a straying partner in an affair by reading their emails and instant chats to other man or woman.  But the fraudsters don’t care if you’re stepping out, they’re out for cold cash, and oodles of it they must be making off Calgarians alone, not to speak of others all over North America.

In Winnipeg the police have issued a warning about the same fraudsters. Here’s the link to the CTV News story. And here’s another story about the same scam.

Microsoft doesn’t call people to tell them they have viruses or computer problems. They never do unsolicited computer repair. So if you get a call telling you this, hang up. If you’ve fallen for the scam, bring in your computer to Ducktoes Computer Repair or let us check it out remotely. You may have a keylogger or other spyware. Also speak immediately to your bank about the credit card purchase. You’ll have to get a new card and number.

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  1. Pingback If Microsoft Calls, Hangup – Part 2 • Ducktoes Computer Services Blog

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