Article by
Gildas Jones

Never allow unsolicited ‘support’ callers (from Microsoft or anywhere) to remotely access your computer. One of our customers did, and brought his locked computer to us…

12/10/2013

Hi, we are calling from Microsoft: Scam alert

Hi, we are calling from Microsoft: Scam alert

We had this today, a new client called us…

He was called up by someone claiming to be a Microsoft representative. He then said that they had had an alert through from the customers computer saying that the warranty had run out and needed to access the computer.

This scam has been around for a few years now, but there is a an added element this time.

Our client did as he asked and gave him access to the computer, the caller then spent 20 minutes looking around the computer, possibly trying to gather information, or changing settings.

When the caller was finished looking around his computer, he told our customer that he had errors and that his warranty was wrong, he then asked for £130 to fix it.

Its at this point our customer refused to pay any money.

The scammer then changed his settings and locked him out of his computer, refusing to unlock it.

I think they must be taking a leaf from the Cryptolocker people, because they are adding passwords and switching on drive encryption.

In this case we unencrypted the drive quite simply, but it did require a reinstall of Windows, just to be sure there was nothing left on there.

The one thing to remember is that Microsoft NEVER make unsolicited support calls. If you do get a call like this hang up straight away and make sure never to give unknown callers  access to your computer.

If you have had this call before but not fallen for the scam, then it is worth giving your computer a scan for viruses.

If you have been a victim of this scam then it is important that you, change passwords on email accounts, if you do online banking then give your bank a ring and keep an eye on your account.

You should also give our IT support team a ring to ensure there are no further viruses or ways the scammer could further access your computer.