“Hello, Microsoft calling….

“Your computer is malfunctioning. We are here to help you”

Originally published 9/30/16

Paying good money to a stranger who does nothing for you is bad enough. The real danger of this scam is in the last paragraph below.

When he calls, he sounds real. He is smooth, but he has had plenty of practice.

If you play along a bit, he will have you hold the Windows key down and press the R key. This will bring up a dialog box, into which he will tell you what to type. This will take you to an error log, which will typically show many low level harmless self-correcting errors that your computer logs every minute. This is to gain your trust, and convince you that your computer is malfuctioning.

Then, he will direct you to a web page where you will download software which gives him remote access to your entire computer, so he can “fix things.” He will guide you through the steps to marry your computers together. He will pretend to fix things, and perhaps ask for your credit card for a small payment. Then, he politely says “Good bye.”

During the conversation, he has downloaded the entire documents section of your computer. He will at leisure browse all your communications, banking, and everything else. You shouldn’t store your passwords on your computer, but we all do that, and he knows it. He can and will go into your on-line bank accounts and clean them out.

When Microsoft calls, just hang up.