Dr Z, I was called by a strange number yesterday that told me they were from Microsoft and my computer was infected with viruses. They said my computer was sending messages to the Microsoft office, and I could pay them to fix it remotely. It made sense because my computer has been acting funny, but something didn’t seem quite right. I told them I would call them back, but I’m not sure. What do you think?
Hello Beth, my first piece of advice is to stop corresponding with them immediately! They’re scammers, and unfortunately they trick a lot of people into giving them money and sensitive information. They don’t offer any service, they just want to be paid. They will tell you they need your password and user name on various sites, then attempt to input the information on various sites, such as banking websites.
If you or anyone reading take notice for the future, many times the quality on those phone calls will be low. That’s because these scammers are calling via Skype so they can’t be traced! If you call back, the operator will inform you you’re trying to contact a Skype caller.
There are thousands of these scams going on daily. Cruel people from overseas are calling the states remotely, and unfortunately there’s not much that can be done at the time to prevent them. Law enforcement can trace the calls, but if it comes from an offender out of the country, they’re out of our jurisdiction. These scammers use that to their advantage.
All we can do is be more careful. Microsoft itself notes that they never make ANY unsolicited calls to its users. If you received a call purporting to be from Microsoft, immediately hang up. You can also complain about them and put yourself on the do not call list.
I hope this information helps Beth!