This morning at 7:05 I received a call from a man with a call-centre accent who claimed he was calling from Microsoft to inform me that my computer had been compromised and was giving out "dangerous information." He said the situation was urgent which was his reason for calling so early. I then hung up (well, after a few words I won't repeat!) and went immediately to see what the internet had to say on the matter.
Here's what I found on the Microsoft Cyber Trust Blog:
"Neither Microsoft nor our partners make unsolicited phone calls (also known as cold calls) about your computer security or software fixes.
"If you receive a call like this one, it’s a scam, and all you need to do is hang up.
"Cybercriminals often use publicly available phone directories, so they might know your name and other personal information when they call you. They might even guess what operating system you’re using. It’s still a scam.
"Don’t let scammers encourage you to install dangerous software
"Once cybercriminals gain your trust, they might ask for your user name and password or ask you to go to a legitimate website (such as www.ammyy.com)
to install software that will let them access your computer to fix it. Once you do this, your computer and your personal information are vulnerable.
"Do not trust unsolicited calls. Do not provide any personal information.
"Although law enforcement can trace phone numbers, perpetrators often use pay phones, disposable cellular phones, or stolen cellular phone numbers. It’s better to avoid being conned rather than try to repair the damage afterwards."
Well, that was a wake-up call in more ways than one! If you receive any such calls, please add a comment to this article.