Over the last several weeks, reports have poured in from consumers about phones calls they’ve received from phony Microsoft technicians. These “technicians” are calling end users in an attempt to gain remote access to their computer systems and swindle them out of money to renew software they claim has expired licenses.
Scams like these started several years ago, but these latest variations have become more sophisticated and employ tactics that could easily convince many consumers. Websites with professional looking designs, advanced software for remotely accessing computers, and a slick sales pitch are just a few.
The victims are instructed to open several windows on their computer, revealing error logs that appear to be very severe in nature. The consumers are told these errors are related to a virus infecting the computer, and that it must be fixed before the computer stops working completely. The end user is directed to a website to download software, and before they know it, the “technician” has gained access to their computer. The con continues with the “technician” revealing to the consumer that their software license has expired and that they’ll just need a credit card to renew.
Ultimately, there is no expired licensing, and the consumer has fallen prey to the person with the thick foreign accent on the other end off the line. Hundreds, if not thousands of dollars later, the computer is in worse shape than before and the end user is left to clean up the mess.
Computer Renaissance has some tips that may help ensure that you don’t fall victim to this scam. First, Microsoft will never call you to advise you of a virus. If someone claims to be from Microsoft, hang up immediately. Second, never allow anyone to gain access to your computer through the internet, unless it’s a company that you’ve worked with before or a trusted friend or family member. And third, keep your usernames and passwords private. Never share them with anyone.
If you have received one of these calls, or if you have questions about staying safe online, call your local Computer Renaissance immediately. Or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll here to answer any questions you have. Don’t forget to ask about our weekly specials and summer promotions on computer repairs in your area.
Remember, at Computer Renaissance, we don’t just sell computers. We create solutions.