4 February, 2012
The phone rings and you answer, the guy on the other end tells you – “I’m from Microsoft and I need to fix your computer – it is showing up on the Internet as having errors”. A great scam and even households that don’t have a computer are getting these calls – obviously they just hang up on you when this is the case (they fast lose their politeness when there is no chance of any money).
The caller is fishing for bites and if you let them they will show you an area on your PC (the event logs) where there will normally be hundreds of errors recorded (many of which can be ignored). This will often get people worried and it is at this point that they really put on the HARD SELL. Next the caller is insisting that you go to a web site to give them access to your PC. Once this is done they can then download remote control software (for future unauthorised access) and they will also then start asking for credit card details.
The first thing to realise here is that Microsoft will never call an end user to tell them that they have errors on their PC. The next thing to realise is the old adage “if it isn’t broken don’t try to fix it”. We have had customers bring computers to us that have been loaded up with viruses and Trojans as a result of these scams – when previously the PC was working fine. We have also talked to people that have lost money on their credit card with no perceived benefit to their PC as far as performance is concerned.
This sort of scam needs to be stomped out so make sure that you tell all friends and anyone that you think could be a target to be wary of these calls. You also still need to keep your computer patched with the latest Microsoft updates, run a good virus scanner, exercise some sense when browsing the Internet and get your PC serviced every 12 months with a reputable local IT firm. Kerr Solutions is at 128 Musgrave Street & is contactable on 49 222 400.