Microsoft Calling – Your Computer Needs Help!

Cyber CriminalThe day is going well. You answered all your email and now you’re working on a presentation for next week. The computer seems a little slow, but it’s a large file. The phone rings …

“Hello! This is Jake from Microsoft and we have been alerted that you have a virus on your system. I would like you to go to: http://www.#@$!.com (this is not a real website) and put in this code so that I can help.”

Stop! It’s a scam. Shortly after you allow them to login, they will be asking for your credit card number. You will be a victim. Don’t engage them, just hang up.

You will never receive a legitimate, unsolicited call from Microsoft or its partners to charge you for computer fixes.

Even if you became suspicious and did not provide your credit card, if you allowed them access to your system, you must:

  1. Change your passwords. Change the password on your email, bank and other critical accounts. Tip: If you keep a file with your passwords on your computer, make sure that it is encrypted. Better yet, use a password management program.
  2. Scan your computer. Use a malware scanner to do a deep scan and remove any threats. Tip: Try the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool or MalwareBytes.
  3. Install or update security software. Tip: Whatever security software you use, always make sure it is up-to-date. If you need to install a security program, remember to match the level of protection to the need of your network. Often free programs are not designed or licensed to protect a business network.

If you gave them you credit card number, call the company and cancel your card. Dispute the charges. Tell the credit card company it is a scam. File a police report.  The only way to defeat these scammers is to be vigilant and refuse to be a victim. You can also file a complaint report with the FTC.

It is worth repeating.   An authentic, reputable Microsoft partner will never call you unsolicited and ask to connect to your computer. Here is more information on phone scams from Microsoft.

As always, if you have questions or want to discuss reach out to me at mary@lansystems.com.

About Mary

Mary is the CEO of LAN Systems. She is an electrical engineer who feels her greatest strength is the ability to connect with people. LAN Systems provides IT managed services and solutions to growing companies and non-profit organizations. You can contact Mary at mary@lansystems.com.

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