A particular type of scam phone call is making the rounds again and victimizing unsuspecting people. This time, it’s the old Microsoft tech support scam call.
Scammers are using technology to pose as employees of Microsoft and other companies. Here’s how to avoid being scammed.
A popular Microsoft Windows scam call is back — here’s how to stay safe
The way the Microsoft Windows scam call works is that users get a phone call, usually from an unknown or spoofed number. Sometime your caller ID will display a city and state.
Once you answer the call, the person will tell you that they work for Microsoft and that your computer needs a software upgrade.
If you give them access to your computer, they download a malicious program that can steal your personal information.
That’s exactly what happened to a Fargo, North Dakota, woman, according to news reports. The hacker spent three hours on a woman’s computer and it began running more smoothly, she said.
“He was doing some good on my computer…and it really wasn’t until the money. That’s when I really started thinking, no this isn’t true,” Audrey Obrigewitsch told Valley News Live.
Soon after, she began to notice that the software the man had installed on her computer had swiped her personal information.
“My account was on lock down, that I couldn’t transfer money from any account to any place,” she told the TV station.
Microsoft tech support scams are nothing new, but the devious ways criminals are using to lure their victims certainly is. That’s why you have to stay vigilant about tech support scams.
Here’s how to do just that:
4 ways to avoid tech support scams
- If someone calls you, be wary: Never, ever give control of your computer to a third party who calls you. The same is true of giving out your Social Security number or credit card information.
- Never give anyone your passwords: No legitimate company will ask for your passwords over the phone.
- Never click on links you weren’t expecting: If you get a suspicious pop-up ad or email, delete it.
- Finally, you may want to put your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry, and then report illegal sales calls.
Clark Howard’s way to detect a scam: ‘It’s a simple rule’
Money expert Clark Howard says he’s got one surefire way of handling potential phone scams.
“Consider following my rule,” he says. “It’s a simple rule: If I don’t recognize the number as being from someone I know, I do not answer the call.”