Unfortunately we have seen this happen to several clients. They will receive a call from somebody claiming to be calling from Windows. The caller tells the person that their computer is infected, and they’ve somehow been alerted to this. The caller then instructs the user to give the caller remote access to their computer, and finally ends up getting credit card information, or worse, from the user in exchange for “fixing” the computer.
The computer isn’t actually infected, but the caller shows the user some Windows logs which show inconsequential errors, but convinces the user that this is a sign of a virus. Just recently a scammer accidentally called a writer at Ars Technica, which is an IT publication. The writer decided to string the scammer along to find out what happens on a typical call. The Ars Technica article outlining the experience is an interesting read, and knowing what to look for can help you protect yourself.
It’s important not to hand over control of your computer to a random person calling you, and particularly not your personal or payment information. Windows (or Microsoft) will never call you asking for this. If you ever have any doubts, hang up and give us a call, we can help decipher what’s going on.
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