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General · 26th March 2015
Robyn Budd
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 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.
scamming calls
Comment by Gypsy Mama 202-8444 on 26th March 2015
Yes, I've received plenty of those calls, and what I tend to do, (when I have time) is actually keep them on the phone as long as possible, and without actually giving them any information.
My perspective is:
possibly the caller is just at a job trying to feed their family where ever they are, so instead of needlessly harassing the caller, perhaps I can increase their employer's cost output to offset the scamming that does get through.
Usually after a while the caller realizes they really aren't going to get anywhere with me and they hang up, and sometimes they are the one who gets overly frustrated as I turn it around by asking questions and making comments to encourage their integrity.
If they are actually an innocent employee, they may still get paid by an hourly wage, and if they are only paid by commission of the scam, well then they get zilch as their reward.
Comment by john arnold on 26th March 2015
We get one of these every other week. They seem to be getting more aggressive about it too. Telus says there's not much they can do either. This scam has been around for a few years at least. Don't even talk to them !
Microsoft Calls
Comment by Paul Ryan on 26th March 2015
Are you kidding? We must get 3 calls a month from these people! It's been going on for at least two years! Next time they call, tell them you want to speak to their supervisor! They will hang up!