The Better Business Bureau issued a warning this week that scammers posing as Microsoft tech support may be trying to access home computers by calling computer users at home.
According to the BBB:
The caller offers to solve a consumer’s computer problems or sell him or her a software license, all in an effort to gain remote control access to the consumer’s computer.
Pam Webster called BBB to report she received a phone call from a “Microsoft employee” who told her he had recognized a virus on her computer. From almost the instant the conversation started, Webster realized this call was not made with good intentions.
“The man identified himself as being from Microsoft tech support and said he had identified that my computer had a virus,” Webster said. “He directed me to go to my computer and proceeded to give me directions to ‘get rid of the virus.’”
Webster, who works with computers on a daily basis, realized almost immediately that the directions being given were the same steps she follows when her IT department needs full, remote access to her computer.
Webster did not allow the caller to proceed any further.
According to Microsoft, once these scammers have access to the computer they can install malicious software, steal personal information, take control of the computer remotely or direct consumers to fraudulent websites where they are asked to enter their credit card information.
The BBB reports that the callers claim to be from the Windows Helpdesk, Windows Service Center, Microsoft Tech Support, Microsoft Support, Windows Technical Department Support Group, Microsoft Research and Development Team (Microsoft R & D Team).
Microsoft’s Online Safety and Security Centre told the Better Business Bureau that neither Microsoft nor its partners make unsolicited phone calls.
For more information, and tips on how to avoid being scammed, go to the Better Business Bureau's report.