Picture the scenario – you’re on your computer, you’re reading the latest celebrity gossip as we all do, you’re considering which internet site to go onto next, you may even be considering doing some work, and then the phone rings. You pick it up and then your hear those dulcet Indian tones informing you that they are from Microsoft or some other reputable organisation and they tell you that they have tracked a virus on your computer and they can help you remove it.
Now of course the more technically savvy amongst us know immediately that this is a scam and hang up abruptly or, if in a playful mood, even have a bit of fun at the scammer’s expense as demonstrated in these videos;
However, there are still a large number of people who fall for this scam. They duly go to their computer as instructed, painstakingly follow the directions of the scammer, and before they know it they have given remote access to their system, had malware installed, and provided access to a variety of personal info including banking details, credit cards, email addresses etc. This is when the havoc begins. In some cases people have even been directed to pay £180 or so for the privilege of this remote support!
Variations of this scam have been around since 2009 with the scam calls predominantly coming from call centres in India. Funnily enough the scammers are pretty adept with Microsoft training and you can’t help thinking that these people could be holding down better paid, LEGAL jobs rather than trying to scam their way up the career ladder !
Unfortunately these scams are becoming a bit more sophisticated and there was a case recently where a woman in the UK contacted her phone provider about a problem she had with her line, was put through to an Indian call centre, and when they rang her back they went through the exercise of asking her to go to her computer and follow their instructions because they had spotted a problem with her broadband that was causing issues on her phone line. This turned out to be an inside-job where somebody at the call centre clearly had links to a less reputable organisation and the scam was initiated. The woman was in her mid 70s but thankfully she did not get caught out. As soon as they started asking for money she hung up because she sensed it was not legitimate.
This case is clearly more alarming because it was not a cold call. Anybody would have expected the call back to be genuine and not some scam artist trying to fleece you.
So, in summary, if you ever get a cold call or even a returned phone call that informs you that there is a problem on your computer and asking you to follow their instructions then HANG UP IMMEDIATELY. IT IS A SCAM !
I also encourage you to ensure that all your desktop security programmes are up to date so that you are completely protected. This is just good general practice.
As an IT Support company we generally use Trend Micro Anti Virus for all our clients. We can supply a licence for your computer from £22 + VAT per year.
Also make sure all your data is fully backed up and secure with our £5 a month unlimited data backup service – click here!
For any advice about GENUINE IT SUPPORT please contact us on 0800 107 7782 or email email@example.com