Microsoft phone scam being run from Indian call centres
There's a scam goin' on that implicates Microsoft being run from Indian call centres, report the Guardian.
The scam starts with a call which goes through the usual security checks before saying "I'm calling for Microsoft. We've had a report from your internet service provider of serious virus problems from your computer."
Naturally, they then tell you that your computer is going to die or sprout legs and kick you to death or something should the problem go unsolved.
If they've succeed in convincing you to keep talking, you'll be directed to your computer and asked to open a program called "Windows Event Viewer". To the average user, it looks like a troubling and long list of errors, some labelled "critical".
"Yes, that's it," says the caller. "Now let me guide you through the steps to fixing it."
You're then sent to a website and told to download a program that hands over remote control of your computer and the caller "installs" various "fixes" for the problem. Then you need to cough-up £185.
Of course, there's was never anything wrong with your computer (well, unless you count that weird porn you've been looking at) and naturally, the caller does not work for Microsoft. Microsoft aren't in the habit of ringing people up are they? Sadly, anyone falling for this will have handed over every bit of data from their computer.
This scam has been going since 2008 and grew hugely this year. It is being run from call centres based in Kolkata, by teams believed to have access to sales databases from computer and software companies who seem to be using the phonebook to get names to call.
When contacted about the scams, Microsoft said it was "currently investigating a series of instances in which the business practices of an organisation within the Microsoft Partner Network [that] have given rise to significant concerns from a number of sources. We take matters such as these extremely seriously and will take any action that is appropriate once our investigation is complete."
The company has noticed the problem. "Microsoft does not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer," it says on its website. "If you receive an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft Tech Support, hang up. We do not make these kinds of calls."