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How to spot fraudulent tech support phone calls

How to spot fraudulent tech support phone calls

  • Comments 19

Betty writes:

I just received a call from a guy who said that my Windows was infected. He wanted me to sit in front of my computer while he fixed it. He became angry when I told him no and I hung up.

Thanks for writing, Betty. This type of call is a popular scam and you did exactly the right thing. Cybercriminals often use publicly available phone directories to call you and offer tech support. Once they've gained your trust, they might ask for your user name and password or ask you to go to a website to install software that will let them access your computer to fix it. If you do this, your computer and your personal information is vulnerable.

Do not trust unsolicited calls. Do not provide any personal information.

  • Never provide your credit card or financial information to someone claiming to be from Microsoft tech support.
  • Do not purchase any software or services.
  • Never give control of your computer to a third party unless you can confirm that it is a legitimate representative of a computer support team with whom you are already a customer.

Get more information on how to avoid tech support phone scams.

If you think you’ve been a victim of a tech support scam

If you think that you might have downloaded malware from a phone tech support scam website or allowed a cybercriminal to access your computer, take these steps:

  • Change your computer's password. Change your Hotmail or other email password if you’ve given it to the caller.
  • Scan your computer with the Microsoft Safety Scanner to find out if you have malware installed on your computer. (This program automatically expires 10 days after you download it so it won’t clog your hard drive.)
  • Install Microsoft Security Essentials. (Microsoft Security Essentials is a free program. If someone calls you to install this product and then charges you for it, this phone call is also a scam.)
  • I just had a call from a guy with an Indian accent who said he was from Windows technical support and my computer was full of errors and he was going to guide me to make the necessary "corrections". 

  • Received a phone call just 3 days ago from someone with an Indian accent who said he was from Windows Tech support and he asked me to "kindly turn on your computer and I will help you fix the issue which is causing your computer to report a Windows error to us. Your computer is infected with a virus and I will help you to remove it"

    I told him I had a dial up connection and no other phone line and he got frustrated.

  • I lkie the idea of saying you don't have a computer--or even better, tell them you have a Mac!

  • had the phone call and silly me let them scan my computer, i did not how ever pay when they asked for money my husband then spoke to them and they would not give phone number but this address

    32 chelsea square, london, sw3 6lq

    i am now doing a full scan but still worried with them scanning mine as we have 4 computer running off the same internet with same e-mail

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