Don't Get Hung Up: BBB Warns of Phony Microsoft Callers

April 30, 2014

April 30, 2014

Contact: Tiffany Whisner
Coles Marketing Communications


Don't Get Hung Up: BBB Warns of Phony Microsoft Callers

Indianapolis, Ind. – BBB® serving Central Indiana offers a warning about scammers who call consumers claiming to be from Microsoft. BBB urges consumers to hang up the phone if this happens and never give out personal information.

In this scam, the “Microsoft caller” randomly calls consumers and tells them their computer has a virus or needs updates. The consumer goes to their computer and starts following the instructions given. Then the caller either asks for your credit card information so the consumer can “pay” for the needed software, or the caller says they will “fix” your computer if you follow instructions.

First, don’t give the caller your credit card number for this service because you will probably never receive it. Second, don’t follow their instructions. They could be putting malicious software on your computer or gaining access to your computer.

"This type of scam is common," said Tim Maniscalo, president and CEO of BBB serving Central Indiana. "Don't give your personal or credit card information to anyone over the phone unless you know they are legitimate and need the information. Make sure to hang up on scammers."

Microsoft created a page on its website about this scam. It states, "Neither Microsoft nor our partners make unsolicited phone calls (also known as cold calls) to charge you for computer security or software fixes." Here are the tips from BBB on what to know about your computer:

  • If you are concerned your computer may be exposed to viruses or other security threats, contact your service provider directly. Some providers offer free tools that can help detect and remove viruses.
  • To help protect your computer from viruses, make sure you have virus detection software installed on your computer. This software can help identify if a virus appears on your computer.
  • Never give out personal information over the phone to someone you don’t know. If the caller claims there is a security threat to your computer, hang up and call your computer company directly.
  • If your computer does need repair, find a company you can trust by finding a BBB Accredited Business here.
  • To prevent these calls, register your phone number with the Indiana Attorney General’s Do Not Call List by calling 1-888-834-9969 or filling in this form:

As always, never give personal information to unknown callers, and in this case, don’t give anyone access to your computer. Be smart, be on the defensive, ask questions and follow your instinct.

If you have received one of these calls, report it to the Indiana Attorney General’s Telephone Privacy Hotline at 1-888-834-9969.

About Better Business Bureau
For more than 100 years, BBB has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2013, people turned to BBB more than 132 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 4.5 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at BBB serving Central Indiana, founded in 1916 and serving 46 counties in central Indiana, is one of 112 local, independent BBBs across North America.