Latest Scam: Hackers Pose as Microsoft Support

juneblogpicnewIt can be a very convincing scheme.  Some targeted individuals’ caller IDs have even read “Windows Support”.

What’s more, hackers may also pose as support technicians from Dell, McAfee, or Symantec.  They exploit these well-known names, possibly with caller ID or other phony evidence, to make them look credible.

Once a user gives credence to the scammer’s story, hackers take a variety of routes.  They may proceed to instruct the user to visit certain sites to download software: software that is either harmless but unnecessary and which they will request credit card information for you to pay for, or, worse, software that is malicious and that will harm your computer while allowing the hacker access to it and to any financial information you have on it.

In 2012 the Federal Trade Commission attempted to crack down on perpetrators of this fraud, and ended up catching a few of the hackers behind it, but even with their measures the scam continues to plague users.

Microsoft’s “Safety & Security Center” emphasizes that “neither Microsoft nor our partners make unsolicited phone calls (also known as cold calls) to charge you for computer security or software fixes.”

That is the most important thing to note: if you haven’t called Microsoft Support with regards to a specific issue, they shouldn’t be calling you.   In fact, they probably aren’t.