We have received numerous reports recently from people receiving fake phone calls from Microsoft. We would like to remind consumers that cybercriminals don't just send fraudulent email messages and set up fake websites. They might also call you on the telephone and claim to be from Microsoft. They might offer to help solve your computer problems or sell you a software license.
What can a Cybercriminal do when they have access to my computer?
Once a cybercriminal has 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.
- 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.
Remember that neither Microsoft nor our partners make unsolicited phone calls (also known as cold calls) to charge you for computer security or software fixes.
How can I protect myself from telephone tech support scams?
If someone is calling you claiming to be from Microsoft tech support or a Microsoft partner then you should do the following:
- Do not purchase any software or services.
- Ask if there is a fee or subscription associated with the "service." If there is, hang up.
- Never give control of your computer to a third party unless you can confirm that it is a legitimate representative of a computer support team with whom you are already a customer.
- Take the caller's information down and immediately report it to your local authorities.
- Never provide your credit card or financial information to someone claiming to be from Microsoft tech support.
Report telephone tech support scams
We recommend that you report phone fraud to your local authorities. Residents in the United Kingdom can also report telephone tech support scams online. By doing this you can help Microsoft to keep consumers safe. Report a fraud to Action Fraud by visiting their website here. (Link: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report-a-fraud/how-to-report-a-fraud)
We are currently talking to Microsoft fans on Facebook and hearing stories from consumers who have experienced these phone calls. If you would like to join in with the discussion, please visit the official Microsoft UK Facebook community. (Link: https://www.facebook.com/MicrosoftUK )