I hate to use such an alarming title, but this is a rather important post. There have been a rise in reports lately about a new scam that could cause you to lose a ton of money or possibly even your identity. This is one post you’ll want to share with your family and friends.
The Microsoft “Technical Support” Scam
There have been reports popping up all over the web about an Indian call center that is cold calling random people and telling them that they work for Microsoft’s “Information Protection” team. They claim that they monitor computers all over the world and have noticed that your personal computer has been infected with a nasty virus and it’s only a matter of time before it crashes and you lose everything on it.
They’ll have you check Window’s Event Viewer and will warn you that the events in there are signs of an inevitable crash and they’ll need full access to your computer immediately to fix the errors and remove the virus. The call is especially convincing for two reasons. One, they will already have a lot of personal information about you, including your full name, phone number, and address. And two, they will try and scare you into thinking you can lose everything on the computer.
The more technical savvy crowd knows that events in Window’s Event Viewer are just common occurrences that do not really signify impending doom. You’re not at risk of losing anything. But to a computer novice, this sounds like a very real threat. The scammer will then talk you into buying extremely expensive software that will “help them fix your computer.” People have been reporting losses of up to $400!
After you pay them and install the software, the scammer will have complete and total control over your computer. They will use this opportunity to install keyloggers and other viruses for the sake of gathering as much information on you as possible.
That’s right. The real scam doesn’t even begin until after you lose $400. The scammer now knows all of your passwords and can access all of your personal files. It’s only a matter of time until the scammer collects enough information on you to steal your identity and can even access the funds in your bank accounts.
I know this sounds extremely alarmist, but it IS happening all over the world. More and more reports are popping up every day and thousands of people have fallen victim to this scam already.
If you think you might be a victim of this scam, I recommend you assume that they already have complete control over your identity. You should notify your bank and credit card companies that you are at risk of having your identity stolen and change all of your passwords and PINs. I’d also recommend looking into buying or updating your anti-virus software.
Beware of CuringYourPC.com, SupportVirtual.com, and OnlinePCCare.com
Readers at the site Reddit.com have tracked down some of the contact information for these scammers. They appear own the following websites:
They also use the following phone numbers:
United Kingdom Customer: 02030262783
United States Customer: 12013386180
Canada Customer: 12013386180
Australia Customer: 0870041012
New Zealand Customer: 6499518119
Singapore Customer: +8000029135
Ireland Customer: +8000029135
Be careful out there. Spread the word and alert your family and friends of this scam.