Microsoft is often hard hit by scams, ransomeware cyberattacks and the like. Microsoft on an ongoing basis releases critical security updates to protect against widespread hacking and elevated risk of cyber attacks.
Cyber criminals and scammers don’t necessarily email you, they call you on your mobile or home phone. One of these cyber attacks and which is on-going is a call from a person who claims to be working for Microsoft. They tell you that they have found out you have a problem with your home computer.
They call you and offer to help solve or fix your computer problem/s or even try and sell you a software license. First they gain your trust, they ask you all the right questions and prompt you to do all sorts of things. They almost immediately gain your trust and you believe your system is faulty. Their aim is gaining access to your computer remotely.
Once they have access to your computer, they can do the following:
- Trick you into installing malicious software that could capture sensitive data, such as online banking user names and passwords. They might also then charge you to remove this software.
- Convince you to visit legitimate websites (like www.ammyy.com) to download software that will allow them to take control of your computer remotely and adjust settings to leave your computer vulnerable.
- Request credit card information so they can bill you for phony services.
- Direct you to fraudulent websites and ask you to enter credit card and other personal or financial information there.
You could also be told that you’ve won the Microsoft Lottery and that Microsoft requires credit card information to validate your copy of Windows. Another one is unsolicited e-mails from Microsoft requesting a security update. All scams. Don’t get caught by them.
Think of a scam from another perspective – why on earth would Microsoft contact “you” personally. Microsoft have online support and you are required to contact them with your problems not the other way around. Before the Microsoft support person does anything that requires taking over your computer remotely they ask permission, give you a set of instructions to follow with access to Microsoft security software.
Before you readily give over your information ask these question:
- What is the cost, what are the costs based on? (Microsoft offers free support)
- Why would Microsoft contact me personally (there are automated updates and patches)
- Go to the Microsoft website for answers.
While you may not find or have knowledge to all scams, there are many websites that you can access to check if a website is safe or not. Try either of these:
Scam Advisor – https://www.scamadviser.com/
Snoops – http://snoops.com/
Its up to you to ensure the safetly of your computer and data.