Don’t be fooled by the “virus” phone scam or you could lose either valuable information on your computer, or even have your computer frozen until you buy expensive antivirus software.
We discovered this scam earlier this year when we received a call from someone saying they were from Microsoft. In a very thick Indian accent, the male caller told us that they had detected a virus on our computer and if not fixed, the computer would be unusable.
We only have one older PC in our household as our other computers are Apple so we eventually picked up that this was bogus due to the suspicious script-like approach the caller took.
A few months later I received another call, and being in no mood for their nonsense, I gave the caller a pretty hard time.
“You mean I have a wirus? Please tell me more about this wirus I have.”
I played around with him a bit, got bored, and decided to flat-out call him a scammer. He told me to “Fuck off” and hung up.
Last night, the Indian scammers contacted my in-laws in Plantation with the same song and dance. They were falling for the trap and almost allowed the scammers to view their computer through a remote control program when they eventually became so frustrated understanding his thick accent and hung up.
Here are the facts: There isn’t anything wrong with your computer (that they can help you with) and the caller does not work for Microsoft, so don’t give these callers access to the data on your computer.
If you allow these scammers to have access to your computer, they will do one or more of the following:
- Infect your PC with a Trojan Virus
- Infect your PC then request money to clean it up – sometimes up to $400 a year.
- Steal your files, folders, passwords and other secure information
- Use your computer to attack other systems.
Microsoft said in a statement that they do not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer.
The scam has been around since 2009 in England and Australia and has moved over here. So if you have elderly relatives using a computer here in Tamarac, please make sure they do not fall for this scam.