Scam Alert

Beware of Scammers Pretending to be Microsoft Support Reps

There are very few things in life that get me very upset, but Microsoft Scammers is definitely one.

Based on the feedback we’re getting from clients, there are an increasing number of fake “Microsoft Support” calls happening in the Anderson area, so we wanted to warn everyone about this scam.

Here’s What Happens

You get a phone call from someone in India who claims to be with Microsoft Support. They claim that they have noticed problems with your computer and they need to check some things to fix virus and corruption issues on your computers.

They will even walk you through some highly technical procedures, such as opening your Prefetch folder, to show you “evidence” of all the infections on your computer.

A recording of the scam happening (to a software security expert, who played along to get the recording) is available here. (Warning – when the user stops going along with the technician some bad language is used).

It’s Not Real

Microsoft support does not really watch your computer looking for virus or corruption problems. The only time Microsoft even connects to your computer is when you download necessary updates (Microsoft verifies your license key, that’s all).

Why They Do It

Money, money, and more money. These scammers will demand $200 or more to be paid via credit card online (and, as you might expect, in many cases they charge your card for much more). They prefer PayPal or certain prepaid cards (like Green Dot) because those can’t be reversed, unlike a credit card.

In addition to directly getting money from your credit card, these scammers will often plant fake software on your computer which watches for key information you type in, like other credit card numbers, bank accounts, and social security information, which they usually sell on the black market for additional income.

How To Stop Them

We can’t keep them from calling you, but know that anyone who calls you – no matter how official they sound, no matter how convincing they are – they are NOT real. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER let someone into your computer that you do not know or trust. If they have called you out of the blue, they are trying to scam you, plain and simple.

Feel free to tell the scammers that you have someone who handles your technology and they need to call Strand Technology at 310-373-3126. We will be happy to tell them where to go. If you get a call and you aren’t sure if it’s legit, feel free to call us and ask. We’d much rather you call us than lose $200 or more to these creeps.

–Geoff Graue