Microsoft Tech Support Scams – What you should know…
These scammers want access to your computer and they’ll do anything to get it!
Chances are, you’ve probably received a random phone call from one of these demanding scammers. Either they’ll call you randomly or you will stumble upon one of their realistic pop-up warnings notifying you that your computer has been infected or hacked and to call Microsoft Technical Support immediately. The problem is, the number they provide is not Microsoft’s. Once you’re on the phone with the scammer, he or she will likely be of East Indian descent. They will direct you to a website to gain remote access to your PC and once they are in, they will run a bunch of bogus tests likely through a DOS prompt to try and get you to believe that your IP/Ports are being accessed by a hacker. This is completely bogus information! These scammers are expertly trained in deploying scare tactics to try to scam you out of your hard-earned money. And they don’t take “No” for an answer. These clowns have even been known to swear at you over the phone before hanging up on you. I, as owner of Twin Cities PC Repair, even received a call from one of these scammers. Now, being that I’m well educated on cyber scams, I decided to play their game for awhile… After wasting 45 minutes of their time listening to the spiel and playing along with it, when they asked me for my credit card so that they may install their software to clean my PC, I told them that I am a IT business owner!! I won’t even repeat what they said to me (LOL) because of its profanity.
What should you do?
The best thing to do if you receive a call out of the blue from one of the Microsoft Support Scammers would be to hang up on them. Chances are they might call you back, and if they do, you can simply call them out on their scam and let them know that you are calling your state and local authorities.
If you happen to stumble upon a website with their realistic and scary looking pop-up, you can do one of four things:
1.) If you can get to the (X) at the top right corner of your browser, simply close out of all browser windows.
2.) If you can’t close your browser windows, you can try rebooting your PC through the start menu.
3.) If you can’t click on your start menu, you can try clicking Ctrl+Alt+Del, click on Task Manager, click on the browser listed and click the End Task at the lower right corner of the dialog box. This will force close your browser.
4.) If none of the above work for you, simply hold the power button down on your PC for 10 seconds. This will force a hard shutdown of your PC. Boot your PC back up and you should be good to go.
As with any pop-up page on the web, there is always a chance that the website might be infected with malware. Always make sure to run a virus/malware scan afterwards with a reputable virus/malware scanner (Preferably on you subscribe to). If you are in need of a reliable antivirus software, please visit our security services page HERE.
Will it ever end?!?
According to Microsoft, from approximately November 2013 through 2016, Client Care Experts victimized over 40,000 people and defrauded these individuals out of more than $25,000,000!! So, what’s being done about these frauds? The FTC is on it! They recently teamed up with the State of Alabama and settled with a handful of technical support companies who were using their scams to impersonate major tech companies such as Apple and Microsoft. A few suspect companies include:
We certainly don’t anticipate these scams ending anytime soon, in fact, they’re growing by the day and they’re finding new and innovative ways to try to con you into believing your personal information is in danger. The best thing to do is to educate yourself on trending scams. Twin Cities PC Repair is constantly investigating a multitude of current scams, so feel free to call us at (651) 456-8655 or send us a message through our contact form HERE if you have any suspicions. We are more than happy to help you! Also, make sure to subscribe to our mailing list below for important news and updates.
Please keep in mind, if you have fallen victim to one of these tech support scams, Twin Cities PC Repair is unable to assist in the recovery of any funds taken from your bank account by the scammer. Please contact your bank or credit card issuer immediately.