Avoid tech support phone scams

Wednesday night, coincidentally on the eve of attending a security conference, I received a call from a man who claimed to be “Microsoft Support”. The caller said he was “following up on my support case” and needed access to my computer. Since iuvo supports a multitude of systems and there was a very remote possibility of the call being legitimately routed through our PBX to me, I simply asked “What system?”

The caller then said, “your Windows”.

HAHA! At this point it was obvious that this caller was full of malarky and this was a case of the highly publicized scam to gain access to a user’s system by posing as MS support and instructing them to download a remote access application to install malware or steal user credentials. I then asked for the caller’s Microsoft email address and phone number “in case we get disconnected.” ;)

Instead of extending his scam and providing false contact info, he turned hostile and said “DO YOU THINK THIS IS A SCAM?! I’m calling the FBI and sending them to your house!” I said “OK, that’s fine” and promptly hung up. Very entertaining.

I reported the details and caller ID phone number to the FBI and Microsoft's scam report site.

Turns out that I got off easy with the FBI threat compared to THIS!

Bottom line:
1. Do not trust unsolicited calls. Do not provide any personal information. Software/hardware companies and social networks do NOT call or send support emails to users without a case being opened by the user. If someone calls claiming to be Dell, Lenovo, Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook, or other; it’s 99.9% probable that it’s a scam.

2. If any technology company or vendor calls you and you’d like to verify, simply ask for their email and a call back number. Most likely they won’t produce it because they are up to some kind of humbuggery.

3. Never give control of your computer to a third party unless you can confirm that it is a legitimate representative of a computer support team with whom you are already a customer.

Stay safe out there!

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