Friday, February 19, 2016

Legitimate phone call or not?

You receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft support. He informs you that your computer is sending them error messages, and it appears to be infected with a password-stealing virus.

He tells you how to look at the event logs on your computer, and informs you that the event logs with warning signs show that your computer is infected.

The support person then directs you to an official Microsoft website where he asks you to download and install a special remote access tool so that Microsoft support can fix your computer for you.

What should you do?
· Continue, as the support page appears legitimate.
· Hang up.

Answer: Hang up. This case of phone phishing and its many variants are real and ongoing organized crime activities.

It has been estimated that thousands of people have fallen for this scam.

The scam: the caller does not work for Microsoft, and the website is scarily real looking, but it is not. If you take the suggested actions, you give a stranger access to your computer.

On its website, Microsoft explicitly says it never places unsolicited calls for tech support, security updates, software validation, or the so-called “Microsoft Lottery.” More information on Microsoft-related scams can be found here:

What to do: If you truly believe that someone cold calling you may be from legitimate computer support, verify by hanging up, looking up their phone number and calling the company yourself.

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