Cyber-crimes are increasing every day and the expanding technologies are one of the reason behind them. Technologies do have changed the way of our living by making things digitized. But this again is a boon for cyber criminal and hackers.
“Microsoft tech support” scam calls and messages one of the cyber-crimes that takes the advantage of people’s who does not takes their computer’s security seriously. They make users afraid that their computer is in danger or infected with terrible virus. Many users don’t know what to exactly do to secure their computer systems. And hence get easily tricked by such scams. If you know your system is secured, then you will never fall into such tricks.
However, people who receive such calls either get puzzled or tries play with the criminal by having a time pass conversation. Well, both the way of dealing is incorrect. Let’s get into the anatomy of this serious cyber crime and know how to deal with them.
What is Microsoft Tech Support Scams
Microsoft tech support scams are not new. It is been there since 10 years and more. This technique of scamming users are managed by a group of people that uses fake English names with Indian accent to cheat users all over the world. This scam is carried out in a well-planned manner in the call-centers that virtually dials the number in countries like Australia,New Zealand, US, Canada, and US.
A phone rings: The person says
Hi I am Mary, and I am calling you from Microsoft Technical Support Center. I am a Microsoft Certified Technician and getting reports of your computer being severely infected with Virus.
The person tries its best to convince users to remotely connect their PC with a screen sharing software program. If the user allow the person to access their PC, it shows fake errors, windows logs, scan reports and so.
Most of the time, users gets convinced and they ask the fake technician to resolve the issues. But for this, user is asked to do a payment of nearly, $200-$600 for full year system maintenance.
If you do this, you are scammed..
There is no such Microsoft Technical Support Center work by calling peoples and solving their issues. Even the issues and viruses shown to you are not true. They are designed to make you believe in such warnings.
What They Do If You Don’t Agree To Pay?
It is not surprising to say, that the moment you allow them to access your computer, your privacy is in danger. They already have the control of your system and they block the screen until you agree to pay. While some callers are so this very politely to make users believe on the situation of their computer system. But most of them warns users in a scary manner by pretending to be an expert Microsoft Technician.
But you should not be scared by such warnings and it’s better to disconnect your system right away. As they use the automatic dialing systems that virtually dials the number of the computer user. So, it is hard to trace them. It is better not to play with them or involve in the conversation.
Just Drop down.
What should you do if you are scammed?
Despite many users complaining about such scams and various actions taken by Microsoft, there is no stop for these Microsoft Tech scammers. Unfortunately, many people does not understand the motive behind such calls and are easily taken away. Till they realize, they have been cheated, it’s too late to recover the loss.
But if somehow, you got to know it quickly, you can deal with this loss.
- Suppose you have made the payment using your credit or debit card, then you should immediately contact to the concerned bank and ask for a charge back. You do need to explain the bank people what exactly happened to you. However, it depends on the consumer protection legislation of your country, how they address this issue.
- After that, you must check for any further unknown transaction made on your card. As the cyber criminals records all your card information. So it is no longer safer to use it. Block your card immediately.
Important: It is very important to take out a copy of your credit report as the criminals may misuse your personal information for frauds. In U.S., you can generate your credit report on AnnualCreditReport.com website.
- Second thing, which is also as important as above, is the security of your computer system. By granting access to your system, you don’t actually have any idea what they have done to it. In most of the cases, the fraudulent person may drop any malicious program, change crucial settings or even infected your files. So, it is not safe to use that computer for any secure actions.
After Scam Actions
Perform three things:
- Take a quick backup of all your important data;
- Perform a System Restore that is prior to the attack or completely format your OS;
- And most important run an anti-malware tool to detect any sort of suspicious thing or virus on your computer.
Ensure your computer system is fully secure before getting back to the normal work on it.
Best Practices to Avoid such Scams
It is too much frustrating and awful after we are fooled with some cheesy speaking person. He pretend to be a legit and concerned Microsoft Technician who is willing to help you, and you being a non-technical person is no wonder of being scammed.
The cold-callers and so-called technicians are too confident and present the things too smartly that, many peoples easily believe in their talk. You may feel guilty, but it’s not your fault. Stopping the crime is not in our hand, but we should be always ready to face it. If we take on computer’s security seriously then, we can avoid scams.
Here is the guideline which will sure help you prevent from being in such attacks.
- To avoid the telemarketing calls, register your phone number for Do Not Call Registry services.
- If you get any such calls stating from “Microsoft” or “Windows” or “Mac”, quickly hang up. As these legitimate firms never calls or messages users.
- Never provide your personal and card information over the phone or even any suspicious website.
- Even if you have granted the access of your computer to the scammers, take a little time to consult with your friends and family before paying for anything.
- Always keep a backup of your important files and document, as in case of any frauds, Banking Trojan attacks like ZEUS Virus or ransomware attacks, you can recover them.
- If any person on the phones says, your computer has a virus, then do not panic and agree to connect with them. First run a scan on your computer with a real-time anti-malware program. This will clear the motive of the call.
- Security should be our main concern, it is no loss to invest a little in protecting your computer with advanced threat protection tool.
- Spread the word of caution to other members using the computer system.
Stay Alert, stay protected…..