Alert: Beware of Phony Calls from "Microsoft Technicians"

December 09, 2011

The Tri-State Better Business Bureau has received reports of local residents being called by “Microsoft technicians”. The "representatives" tell the caller that their computer system was overrun with viruses. To fix the problem the technician needs remote access.

One local caller told a BBB representative that, after allowing remote access, the “technician” did actually perform a few helpful tasks like performing a virus scan. This helped convince our caller that this might actually be a Microsoft technician.

Callers providing remote access give these fraudsters entry to all computer files, information and confidential materials stored within.

According to Microsoft, “if you receive an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft Tech Support, hang up. We do not make these kinds of calls.”

If you have been contacted by someone claiming to be with Microsoft who needs to access your computer remotely:

1.) Contact your bank immediately.

2.) Run an anti-virus scan.

3.) If you have sensitive information belonging to others on your computer, let those individuals know immediately. 

4.) Consider putting a security freeze on your credit reports.

5.) As always, the BBB cautions consumers and businesses to be careful and protect passwords and information that can compromise the integrity of your computer network.

This kind of fraudulent attempt is not new, however we are seeing an increase in reports from local residents. Microsoft, in reference to this scheme, puts it this way:

“Treat all unsolicited phone calls with skepticism. Do not provide any personal information.”