Tech support scams

logo“Hello my name is Robert and I’m with Microsoft Tech Support. We are getting a report from your computer that you may have a virus. I would like to help you out and clean it up for you free of charge. All you have to do is let me take control of your computer and I’ll do the rest.”

This was an actual phone call one of my users received at the office I support. First off, if you get a phone call like this while at work you need to immediately let your IT department know and DO NOT under no circumstances do anything the person on the phone says to do. There is no such thing as a Microsoft Support Team that will call you to tell you your computer has an issue or a virus installed. The dealership you bought your car from doesn’t call you when your check engine light comes on right? What these people do is they will ask you to go to a website and let them connect to your computer so they can fix it for you. What they are actually trying to do is connect to your computer and steal copies of your files. Some of these files store your usernames and password you use to login to websites. So what do you do if you receive this phone call? Hang up and block their number… Orrrrr, you can do what some people are doing on YouTube and record your conversation with them while you do nothing on your computer. Some of the videos are pretty funny.

This doesn’t mean that all remote support services are scams. Using a remote connection is quite useful when it comes to providing support. My recommendation would be to only allow a remote connection from a computer service provider you have physically met. Personally I utilize TeamViewer when I am providing remote sport to my users.