Computer Support Phone Scammers
Although not a new threat it is worth revisiting the issue of bogus support calls since many of our customers have received them and the callers can be very persuasive.
Typically the caller will claim to be either from Microsoft Support or maybe from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) e.g. TalkTalk, BT, Plusnet etc.
They begin the call by saying that they are calling from BT (or Microsoft) technical support and that they have been monitoring your system. They will tell you that there are a number of security threats on your computer and that they can fix them for you. They will then take you through a process which will enable them to take control of your computer. If you allow them to do this then they will proceed to demonstrate to you that you do indeed have a number of problems, and that they can not only fix them for you but also provide a guarantee for their work. They may also suggest that your license or guarantee for “Windows” has expired and they can fix this. All this for a price of between £180 and £250! If you resist then they have been known to make threats that your PC will crash within the next day or so.
If you receive one of these calls it is definitely a scam. Please take note of the following:
- Neither your ISP nor Microsoft have ways in which to monitor how your PC is performing.
- The service and support teams of your ISP or Microsoft, and any legitimate company associated with them, do not make outgoing cold calls.
- There is no license expiry on the Windows operating system nor is there any guarantee.
If you have been persuaded to let them have access to your system then ideally you should first run a virus scan and then perform a “System Restore”. This will remove any programs that have been installed on your PC between the date of the restore point and the current date, so removing anything that they may have added. Details on how to run a System Restore can be found here for Windows 7 and here for Windows 8 & 10.
The good news is that these scammers are generally just after the initial £200 and will not try to access your PC or personal information – it’s a numbers game to them and they move onto the next target. The bad news is that they can be very persuasive and many people are taken in. In addition it sows the seeds of doubt and makes people even more concerned about using the Internet.
If you have been a subject to this type of call and you have any concerns about your ongoing security, please get in touch and we will be happy to check your system and reassure you of your security.