IS IT REALLY MICROSOFT CALLING?
By Linda Lindquist, Certified Malware Removal Specialist, Keeping Your Computer Healthy
You get a call from ‘Microsoft’?
Your computer is sending out errors?
Your Windows license has expired?
Your IP address needs to be changed?
You have a serious virus?
The caller sounds foreign and there is chatter in the background?
Your computer freezes with a scary pop-up?
You get a pre-recorded voice mail from ‘Microsoft’ with a dire warning to call for support.
Microsoft techs are standing by to help, IF you just call their toll-free number?
Your computer is talking to you? Or sounding a klaxon siren? Or beeping incessantly?
OH! And you’ll lose all your files if you turn off your computer?
WHAT ‘THEY’ WANT?
The scammers have discovered the magic bullet to get you to let them into your computer by saying they are from ‘ . Then they ask you to press the Windows key and the ‘R’ key and type in their secret code. After all, you think they are from Microsoft tech support here to help you. And you do what they want!!
NOT! Don’t you believe it! This is a billion-dollar cyber-mafia scam ring who are preying on the gullibility of trusting senior citizen computer users.
They charge as much as $1199, by credit card or check routing numbers, and do nothing but take your money and put snooping software to steal your identity on your computer. If you do not pay, they often lock you out of your own computer. Talk about thievery and violation, all in the name of ‘Microsoft’!
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
What you can do to protect yourself from these scammers?
- If ‘Microsoft’ is calling you – HANG UP! The real Microsoft does not do call outs.
- If their pop-up freezes your browser (sometimes it talks or sounds a klaxon), hold the CTRL ATL DEL keys all at once on your keyboard, open the TASK MANAGER, click on the name of your browser, and click on END TASK. This will close the scary pop-up. Or hold the power button until the computer shuts down. Do not recover pages when you open the browser again.
- DO NOT PANIC. They want you to call them and let them into your computer.
- DO NOT CALL THEM. I repeat, DO NOT CALL!!!
- DO NOT FOLLOW DIRECTIONS – from ‘Microsoft’, ‘Apple’ or anyone you do not personally know. If you do, you have given them permission to enter your computer.
- If you did let them in, SHUT OFF YOUR COMPUTER, THEN HANG UP THE PHONE. Then call a local technician to remove the malicious software that was downloaded to your computer.
- DO NOT PAY THEM. DO NOT GIVE YOUR CREDIT CARD OR CHECKING ACCOUNT NUMBERS TO STRANGERS!!
Do not fall prey to the fake ‘Microsoft’ Tech Support Scammers!