BBB alert: beware of fraudulent calls claiming to be Microsoft | Business
From the Better Business Bureau of Central East Texas:
BBB is alerting consumers of a phone scam in which the caller claims to be from Microsoft. In an effort to gain remote control access to the victim’s computer, the caller offers to solve the consumer’s computer problems or sell them a license for software.
Once cybercriminals have gained a victim’s trust, they can do one or more of the following:
- Trick people into installing malicious software on their computer.
- Take control of a victim’s computer remotely and adjust settings in order to leave the computer vulnerable.
- Request credit card information so that cybercriminals can bill for the phony services
“Scammers know how to get around our better judgment”, said Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of BBB Serving Central East Texas. “By using the names often use the names of well-known companies in order to gain the trust of consumers, cybercriminals and other scammers are able to gain access to accounts and attack the computers of their victims.”
According to the Microsoft website, they will not make unsolicited phone calls to help you with your computer. If you receive a phone call similar to the one described, delete the message or hang up.
Here are some of the organizations that cybercriminals claim to be from:
• Windows Helpdesk
• Windows Service Center
• Microsoft Tech Support
• Microsoft Support
• Windows Technical Department Support Group
•Microsoft Research and Development Team (Microsoft R & D Team)
BBB advises consumers follow these tips to protect themselves from scammers attempting to access their computer:
Go through your service provider directly. If you are concerned your computer may be exposed to viruses or other security threats, contact your service provider directly. Some providers offer free tools that can help detect and remove viruses.
Install virus detection. To help protect your computer from viruses make sure you have virus detection software installed on your computer. This software can also help identify if a virus appears on your computer.
Don’t trust cold calls. Never give out personal information, over the phone, to someone you don’t know. If the caller claims there is a security threat to your computer, hang up and call your computer company directly.
To find a computer repair company you can trust, go to www.bbb.org. To report a fraud or scam, call the BBB Hotline: (903) 581-8373.