Hang up the Phone. Microsoft Doesn't Need to Fix Your Computer.

March 21, 2012

Have you received a call from Microsoft claiming that errors or warnings have been found on your account? If so, it's a scam.

What does the scam look like?

A scammer calls and claims to be a representative of Microsoft® or "Windows Service" Center who is alerting users to "warnings" or "errors" discovered on their computer.
The scammer then instructs the victim to fix the problem by following commands over the phone. The scammer will try to gain remote access to the computer and install malicious software. He may also ask for credit card information to bill the victim for "repair services."

Microsoft's Safety and Security Center website says that "Microsoft does not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer."

Steps to take if this happened to you:

• If you have received this call and allowed remote access to your computer, immediately run anti-malware and anti-virus programs.
• Contact your financial institution immediately if you provided credit card or bank account information.

Staying safe in the future:

• Install a firewall and anti-virus program to protect your computer and personal information. Update these programs frequently.
• Update your operating system and web browser software regularly.
• Protect your passwords by keeping them in a safe place. Your passwords should have at least eight characters and should contain numbers, symbols and letters. Create different passwords for each online account that you have.
• Never give personal or financial information to unsolicited callers.

See BBB.org's complete scam directory for more information about breaking scams in your area.

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