Beware the 'Microsoft' Virus Phone Scam

Fake VirusThis scam has been doing the rounds for several years now and it just doesn’t seem to go away, presumably because people are still being tricked by it and it is profitable for the perpetrators.

It starts with you receiving a call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft, or a company working on the behalf of Microsoft, warning you that your computer is infected with a virus and if you do not allow them to fix it for you your computer will be disabled for the good of Microsoft, the internet and the world in general!

If you receive this call hang up the phone. Immediately. Don’t engage or try to be polite. These people can be very smooth and convincing especially if you are not particularly tech savvy. Microsoft will not call you personally to warn you that you have a virus, I assure you.

If you follow along with their instructions they will get you to provide them with remote access to your computer and then, after you provide them with your credit card details, they will run some pretty looking yet meaningless application on your computer and “fix” the virus that does not exist.

If you are lucky, the only surprise you will find after the experience is an exorbitant charge on your credit card for a pretend service, but more likely your credit card details have been sold to other fraudsters and possibly malware has been installed on your computer opening you up to other fun stuff like identity theft.

As I said – hang up the phone!