This scam has been around for ages. Many people have fallen victim to it and it appears as though it is not letting up. Therefore we have decided to inform you what exactly this scam is, what happens and how it can be avoided.
It all begins with a phone call…
Someone (these scammers can be either gender) will phone you, having gotten your phone number from a web registration you might have done, or even through your DSL provider, and claim that they are phoning from Microsoft. They will inform you that they have detected a problem with your system and that they need to log onto your computer to fix it.
They will ask you to open a remote desktop software, normally something like TeamViewer. This is a completely legitimate and safe software, but sadly it can be used for the wrong purposes. If you do not have the software installed, they will patiently assist you with downloading and installing the software on your computer.
After the software is opened they will ask you for the necessary details that will allow them to take control of your computer. Upon taking control they will keep talking to you over the phone and open a function of Windows called ‘Event Viewer’. The event viewer consists of a lot of logs and information regarding your system, and it contains several errors that normally do not affect your daily life at all, but the scammer will place your attention on these errors and then proceed to tell you how bad they are for your computer and how it needs to be fixed immediately.
The scammer will at this point tell you that these errors can be viruses or that it can somehow negatively influence your bank account.
They will ask you to enter your bank account details, or simply enter your card details on a page. It is at this point that they will probably end the call with you, as they have succeeded in stealing your bank account information. The scammers frequently tell you they are phoning from Microsoft (Even Microsoft warns about this scam, read more here), but they can also tell you they are phoning from your bank, or from some other financially related institution.
Here are some things to remember:
- Microsoft will NEVER phone YOU.
If someone calls and claim they are from Microsoft, simply ignore & immediately end the call.
- Your bank will NEVER try to access your computer remotely.
The moment the “representative” start asking about accessing your computer, simply end the call.
- In general if anyone wants to access your computer remotely, do not allow it.
IT companies normally use remote desktop software to fix problems on your computer. So please make sure that the IT company you use, are service providers that you trust. If anyone wishes to access your computer, who you do not know personally, never grant them the opportunity!
I trust that this information will someday save you from one of these scams.