Microsoft Support Scam

This is the second time in a week now that someone has tried to take me on this scam, so I thought I should write up something quick about it. It is a really simple one - you get a call on the phone from someone claiming to be Microsoft Technical Support, calling about the problems you have been having. And of course given the sheer number of people who have trouble with Microsoft, I guess they get a fair number of people who fall for it. This time I decided to play along a lot further and both kill as much time of theirs as I could, as well as try to find out more information about them.

They ask you to hold down the windows key and then hit "R", which calls up the "run" window to run a command. OK, credit where due I did not know that shortcut and will have to remember it when using windows. Anyway, they wanted me to type in this website - PLEASE DO NOT GO TO THAT WEBSITE!

I just did a quick google on that site name and it brought up reams of reports of scammers. Done. I dragged out the call as long as I could and finally confronted the guy with the fact that I put the site name in google and found a whole bunch of information about scams. He actually had the gall to try to convince me he was not a scammer - now there is dedication, I guess.

From what I read online, if you follow through on his instructions, you will basically download and install a trojan horse onto your system, which will do various nasty things as it sees fit.

So just a quick tip to all my friends and efriends - be careful out there!


update from a friend

A friend who works at a computer store just told me he had a customer actually fall for this. They installed the malware on their PC, and then actually gave the guy their credit card number to pay $400 for their "cleaning service". They eventually had to cancel their credit card and then pay my friend's company to really clean the PC. Ug.

Sometimes I wish I believed in hell.