"Hello, I’m with tech support for Microsoft,
And we noticed that you were online and downloaded certain files that can harm your computer and cause a system crash. We need to log on remotely to fix this for you.”
That’s how it starts, it ends with, “Hi, this is Steve from the Village Geek, I’m sorry but those scammers caused a lot of damage. It will take $200 to $300 to save your data and get your system running again. By the way, you need to call your bank and let them know you have had your identify stolen”
This type of scam has been going on for years, but I’ve never mentioned it before because I have only seen two cases in the first 17 years we were in business. I mention it now because I have seen six cases in the last two months. These scammers are getting very aggressive. They offer the online support for a nominal fee of $19.95 or so. While they prey on people that are less tech savvy, at least two of the recent attacks were on customers that were very savvy. The scammers just happened to call when the customer was dealing with some issues on the computer already, and it seemed logical.
In both those cases, the customer was charged over $400, and the scammers asked for information that would compromise their identities.
The most recent case the customer realized what was happening, and refused to give out his social security number, so the scammers locked his computer so he could never access it again.
I will give you some technical direction here, but first and foremost I want you to realize a few things.
1. Microsoft is not monitoring your individual daily online activities, and if they were watching for any reason, they would not have your name and phone number.
2. Microsoft does not call and offer online assistance. They have enough trouble dealing with the tech support calls that are made to them.
3. If you didn’t initiate contact with the person that wants to log onto your computer remotely, don’t let them. End of story.
4. NEVER give your personal identity information to anyone over the phone.