Tech giant Microsoft is taking legal action against scammers pretending to work for the company as support staff. Scammers have allegedly been calling computer owners to offer repairs for money with some then installing viruses on them. The company says it has received 65,000 complaints referring to the practice since May.
The scam is nothing new, with callers having been selling useless security software to unwitting computer owners before charging them hundreds of dollars to fix ‘problems’ which don’t exist. Callers are now able to access computers remotely in order to install viruses on them and steal personal information.
A variety of tactics have been used to snare computer users, with criminals placing fake ads as well as telephoning computer owners and claiming to be Microsoft representatives. Microsoft warns that the criminals are likely to be busy over the festive period, saying “the holiday season is a popular time for scammers as more people engage in online activities, including shopping, donating to charity and searching for travel deals”. It’s thought that efforts are being made to target older people in particular.
Microsoft advises users to hang up if a fee is mentioned by a caller, to refuse access to a caller unless it is clear that they are an authorized representative, report suspicious calls and to never give credit card or financial information to a caller.
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