Microsoft Tech Support Scam

November 24, 2013

The Microsoft tech support scam has made a return to Kansas City of late.  While the Microsoft tech support scam has been around in different iterations since about 2008, people are still falling victim to it on a daily basis because the “Microsoft Techs” can be very convincing.

It’s All A Big Scam

Your phone rings and it is a person claiming to be from Microsoft and tell you that they have discovered a lot of viruses on your computer and want to take a look at it for you through an online remote control session.  You may have your doubts, but the caller directs you to the Event Viewer, which is an internal Microsoft error report log, and ask you to count the number of “errors”.  They may even have you pull up the “Prefetch” folder and ask you to count the “malicious hacking files”.  They get you involved, its called social engineering.

Then they get on your computer and run a program that shows hundreds, if not thousands, of viruses, errors and alerts.  They say its worse than expected, but that they can help…………it will just cost a few hundred dollars and your credit card number.  They do a very good job getting your heart rate up and convincing you that you must act now or suffer great harm as a result of all these problems!

Your Warranty Has Expired

After this, they tell you your warranty has expired, and for even more money, they can guarantee that your computer will be virus and error free with something like a 1-, 3- and 5-year plans, plus even a LIFETIME plan.  All you have to do is give them more money, but this time it may be through a wire transfer or Western Union.    To prove this, they show your the Microsoft Configuration Utility which shows what processes are and are not running.  The reason, they say, so many say “Stopped” is because you are out of the warranty period.

The Call Gets Nasty 

Now, at some point during the call, many people begin to feel that this is a scam and begin to express doubt about the authenticity of the “Microsoft” technician on the phone.  If you don’t pay them, they start deleting files right in front of you and the caller takes a more belligerent and threatening tone.  If you still don’t do what they are telling you, there have been cases where they put a password on your system that locks you out of your computer completely and that paying them is the only way to get back on to your computer.  Basically, your computer and its data are being held for ransom!  Once this happens, the computer is locked up tighter than a drum and has to be rebuilt in most cases.

The lesson here is that Microsoft is NEVER going to call you and offer tech support, DO NOT allow any unknown person to EVER access your computer via a remote connection, and never give your credit card or banking information out to an unsolicited caller.  If you suspect your computer has a computer virus, call a certified and experienced professional.  Don’t fall for the Microsoft tech support call scam, just hang up on them.

*****

Founded in 2010, Prairie Star Technology is an independent IT service and support firm located in Overland Park, KS.  We offer on-site computer service and support throughout the greater Kansas City area, including Overland Park, Shawnee, Olathe, Kansas City, Lenexa, Prairie Village, and Leawood, and remote help desk support nationally.  We specialize in improving computer performance, reliability and security for residential and small business customers.  We are focused on providing fast, professional and CompTIA certified computer support to small business and individual clients nationwide.   Our unique managed service program, Complete Computer Care, combines remote monitoring, preventative maintenance and Internet security all in one bundled offering starting at $15.99 a month.

If you would like to find out more about how we can improve your computers security to better protect your personal identity, documents, pictures and other data and make your computer faster and more fun to use, call us at 913/730-6262 or on our Contact Us page.  If you are going to take on the risks of the Internet, you owe it to your data to have the best Internet security possible.

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If you live in Kansas City, Overland Park, Shawnee, Olathe, Kansas City, Lenexa, Prairie Village, or Leawood, call us if you receive a Microsoft tech support scam call.

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