What to do when Microsoft calls…

This has come up a couple of times lately with my customers.  They receive a phone call from someone who claims to be from Microsoft.  This person tells them that there is a problem with their Windows installation on their computer and they need to log in and fix it.

This is what is known as a phishing scam.  Most of the time the person that is called hangs up on the caller; but every so often, they find someone who will listen and follow their instructions.  They will then gain control of this person’s computer and wreak havoc on the machine.  I have heard stories of people paying these scammers hundreds of dollars to “fix” their computer.

These scammers are very convincing, and they will not take no for an answer.  They will continue to demand that you let them fix your computer.  The only way to shut them up is to hang up the phone; even then they will probably call back in the future.  I was at a customer’s house when they received one of these calls, so I got on the phone with the scammer.  I told him that I was the Tech for these people, and I knew he was a scam.  I also told him that Microsoft does not make these types of calls and there was nothing wrong with this computer.  He still would not break from his script to attempt to gain control.  I finally hung up on him.

Here are the facts about Microsoft.  They do not know your phone number.  They cannot monitor the Windows installation of every computer.  They will not call you unless you have called them, and you are in the middle of working with them on a solution to a problem you know you have. 

This also goes for Dell, HP, Toshiba, and any other computer manufacturer.  My dad did find a way to stop them recently when they called him.  He told them they were mistaken because he doesn’t have a computer.  They did not have an argument for that one.

Remember, if you receive a call from any company that you did not call first and they try to get information or access, hang up the phone and call that company at a number that is published for that company.  If you have allowed a company access to your computer and they damaged it or you think they may have added some type of spyware on it, call me.  I have recovered systems that have been damaged by these scammers and I can help you too.

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