I had a phone call this morning while I was getting ready for work. There was a gentleman at the other end of the call telling me he was calling from Microsoft support and that my computer was riddled with viruses. Should that be virii? I had read about these types of calls in the tech press. I told the caller that my computer was fine but he insisted that it was not based on reports Microsoft had received from my machine. I argued for a minute but finally had to hang up on him despite his urgent insistence.
It was a scam that was trying to get me to download software that would effectively riddle my computer with viruses and pay for the privilege no less. I’m writing about this lest anyone get fooled by this approach to compromise a phone, laptop, or desktop computer.
More information is available from Microsoft (the real Microsoft), the Register, which is a tech site from the U.K., and the Malwarebytes blog. The latter has specific examples of “errors” used by the scammers to alarm a potential mark. Microsoft technical support never makes cold calls to Windows users. The scam, by the way, has variations for Apple users. That’s mentioned in the blog post. Please don’t waste your time with these people. –Mark