If you have not received this type of call already, it will happen according to the Houston managed IT services experts at NSC IT Group. You are at your home or office, and you receive a phone call from someone who claims to be representing the Microsoft technical support division. The caller may have a strong foreign accent that is hard to understand. You will be told that your Windows-based computer system has a very bad virus that is sending information from your computer to some nefarious site that is collecting your personal data. You might also be told that your computer is continuously generating error messages. The caller will tell you that they can help you solve the problem, eventually you learn that you will have to pay handsomely for the assistance. The scam can also be initiated via email or through an online chat conversation.
The purpose of these scam calls varies. Some callers are trying to get you to purchase bogus, expensive anti-virus software from them. They will direct you to a website that supposedly sells the magic bullet to solve the problem.
In another variation on the scheme, the caller persuades you to open your Windows control panel and read your IP address and other identifying data. That information can be used to access your computer remotely. This tactic can be stymied if you have robust Houston network security.
Sometimes, the caller will direct you to a website where you will be prompted to download a program that supposedly originated from Microsoft. If you download it, this program will do one of two things.
- It will search your computer for your bank account, credit card data and passwords. Once the numbers have been stolen, the criminals will withdraw your money from your bank account or use your credit cards to purchase items that can be resold. The ability of scammers to access your personal details shows the need to protect your credit card from these people.
- The program could also freeze your computer and encrypt your data. Once it has been effectively disabled, you will be forced to pay a ransom to get another program that will restore your computer to its original condition. This scam even worked on the Dickson County Sheriff’s Office in Tennessee. Sometimes, after you buy the program, you will receive nothing, and you will be forced to enlist the aid of a Houston backup and disaster recovery company to fix your computer.
You can find many reports of this scam on social media. It is so prevalent that there are recordings that reveal the scam as it is being perpetrated. This aggressive calling tactic has been in use since 2009. It has been pulled on computer users across the world, including the United States, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, England and Canada.
If you receive one of these calls, you should just hang up your phone. Microsoft does not contact people randomly to inform them of problems with their computers.
These callers do not give up easily. Even if you tell the caller that you are aware of the scam or do not have a computer, the caller will not stop until you end the call.
These calls are made from payphones, stolen cell phones or so-called “burner phones,” which are pre-paid cell phones that are discarded after they have been used. That makes it very difficult for the authorities to catch the criminals even though the numbers can be traced.
If you have been the victim of this scam, contact NSC IT Group at 713-974-3889. We can restore your computer and recommend an anti-virus program that will protect your valuable data and keep your PC safe. Do not fall prey to telephone scammers. Always be skeptical if you receive this type of call. Your skepticism can be a very effective means of thwarting the criminal’s intentions.