Have you had a man from Microsoft call you and advise you that your computer is infected with a virus? If so, you are one of an increasing number being targeted by a phone scam – writes James Matthews of Innovation IT Support.
By now email scams have been going around for some time and people are starting to get used to them. Scam emails claiming to be from the Banks trying to get hold of your account details or online banking password – so crooks are now turning to other ways to try and scam people.
The latest malware scam (which has started to hit worldwide) involves people making pretend telephone calls claiming to be from Microsoft or your Antivirus company, trying to provide over the phone instructions to fix a virus that they are claiming is on your machine (which doesn’t exit). The instructions actually turn your machine in to a spam spreading portal.
In a typical scenario of the scam, callers are told that their machine is being monitored by Microsoft and an infection has been detected. The caller then offers to talk the customer through steps to fix the (non-existent) problem. The instructions install a piece of software on the machine which then allows it to be used as part of what’s called a bot network and also potentially allows someone to connect to your machine and steal personal details like account numbers and online passwords.
If all this wasn’t already bad enough, many people have been asked to provide credit card details to pay a service fee.
How to learn from this type of scam
As always ignore anyone who makes a phone call out of the blue asking for personal information of any kind. They don’t have any way of actually telling that you have a computer or not, so the best thing to do is not get in to a discussion with them – just simply hang up.
James Matthews is the founder of Innovation IT Support, a Swindon business that specialises in business IT support including email, networking, computer repairs, upgrades and system health checks.