‘Microsoft’ scam telephone calls target businesses and consumers

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HAVE you received a phone call from Steve of Microsoft, happy to fix the ‘problem’ with your computer?

Then warn Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service, you are one of many Warwickshire consumers and businesses who have been targeted by this ‘computer fix’ scam.

The unexpected phone calls come from people who falsely claim to represent Microsoft. Recipients are told that there is a serious problem with their computer that needs fixing. These claims are entirely bogus.

The phone calls are believed to originate from outside the UK and the callers use phone directories and marketing survey information to randomly target the unsuspecting consumer or business – they don’t even know if the recipient has a computer.

The caller asks the computer user to turn on their machine and give them remote access to it, so that the fictitious problem can be rectified.

Giving access to your computer to someone you don’t know could lead to your PC becoming infected with viruses and other malware, or your personal or financial information being stolen and used fraudulently. Or you may have software downloaded on to your PC or ‘work’ done unnecessarily for which you may then be asked for payment.

Awareness of these scams is key to combating them.

· Microsoft do not make unsolicited (unexpected) phone calls to consumers.

· Never allow anyone you don’t know or trust to take control of your PC.

· Never download any software on to your PC if you are not certain what it does, where it comes from and that it is safe.

· Never give your credit or debit card number to anyone who you receive an unsolicited call from - they could be criminals and could steal your card details.

· If you do think there is some thing wrong with your PC contact a local repair service and go on recommendation.

· For information on how to protect your PC from viruses etc. visit: www.getsafeonline.org

For more information on business and consumer scams, please visit our website: www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams