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Attacker, Hacker, Scammer, Computer Security, Business Security, Email Security

The Microsoft Scam

Microsoft is as old as time. The company has been around for as long as I can remember – even before I was born! This is why the Microsoft scam works so well for scammers.

Yes! Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates (everyone knows this) but did you know that Paul Allen is the co-founder? What’s more surprising is that this company has been established on 4 April 1975.  This means that the company, Microsoft, was a teenager (+/- 17) when I was born. 

Being an innovative technology company, a pioneer in thier field, Microsoft is a very large target for cyber attacks.

This Microsoft scam has been around for ages. Many people have fallen victim to it and it appears as though it is not letting up. This is why I have decided to inform you what exactly this scam is, what happens and how it can be avoided.

Melanie du Plessis

It all begins with a phone call. Someone (these scammers can be either gender) will phone you [they get your phone number from a web registration you might have done or even through your DSL provider].                                                                          They claim that they are phoning from Microsoft!!!

With Microsoft being a legit company, why would you question this, right?!

The 6 simple step scammers use to catch their pray

1.They will inform you that they have detected a problem with your system. This problems is something they need to log onto your computer to fix it. 

2.They will ask you to open a remote desktop software, normally something like TeamViewer.

PLEASE NOTE: TeamViewer is a completely legitimate and safe software. It is used by reputable IT-Support companies. But sadly it can be used for the wrong purposes, like in the Microsoft Scam

If you do not have the software installed, they will patiently assist you with downloading and installing the software on your computer.

3. Once the software is installed. They will request you to open the software. Once opened, they will ask you for the Username and Password.

This will allow them to take control of your computer.

4. The Microsoft scammer will then have complete control of your system. While they are busy on your computer, they will keep talking to you (as a distraction). Suddenly they will open a function of Windows called ‘Event Viewer’.

This event viewer consists of a lot of logs and information regarding your system. It also contains several errors that normally do not affect your daily life at all

5. 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. 

6. They will then request that you 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.

Microsoft scam, The Microsoft Scam, Scammers, Hackers, Attackers, Phisisng, Baiting, Pre-Texting

The most frequent scams are people phoning from Microsoft (The Microsoft Scam), but they can also tell you they are phoning from your bank, or from some other financially related institution.

How to avoid getting caught in a scam;

  • Microsoft will NEVER phone YOU. If someone calls and claim they are from Microsoft, simply put the phone down.
  • Your bank will NEVER try to access your computer remotely. The moment the “representative” start asking about accessing your computer, simply put the phone down. 
  • In general if anyone wants to access your computer remotely, chances are, they are suspicious. IT companies use remote desktop software to fix problems on your computer, but anyone else that wishes to access it, who you do not know personally, are suspicious. This is why you need to have a dedicated IT Support Company that you trust to deal with all your IT-issues. 

Check out some more ways you can counter this scam on Microsoft’s Help Guide

I hope that this information will someday save you from one of these scams. 

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