The Microsoft phone scam is still going strong. It works like this. You get a call from someone saying they’re from Microsoft and they’ve heard from your ISP that you have virus problems on your computer. They then get you to open Windows Events Viewer and display a seemingly scary array of files with red crosses and yellow exclamation marks next to them. They tell you these are viruses and you need to open a certain website and key in a six digit security code – then hey presto they have access to your computer. After pretending to fix everything they ask for a fee and enough people pay this to make the scam a lucrative one. Microsoft will never phone you unsolicited. If you get a call from Microsoft hang up. More importantly tell everyone you know to hang up because there are plenty of people out there who in all innocence will believe it and think they are acting in their own best interests.
With the sender’s permission I’m sharing this text message from a friend with sight loss who was the unlucky recipient of just such a call. For once, it was a benefit to be using screen reading software which couldn’t cope with the poorly labeled site and she was unable to enter the 6 digit number. Needless to say ‘Microsoft’ didn’t call her back as they promised and left her in a distressed state for 24 hours.
“Got software problems – Microsoft have been in touch and we tried to sort it out. But I couldn’t manage without sighted assistance. This happened yesterday and I really felt like giving the computer up. They are supposed to be calling me back. They don’t know what to do about helping an unsighted person. I daren’t use the computer. ”
It’s all sorted now but there’s still the need to tell everyone you know – if they say they’re from Microsoft its safe to say no thank you and goodbye.
More information here http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/18/phone-scam-india-call-centres