Avoiding Technical Support Scams
Cybercriminals don't just send fraudulent email messages. They might call you on the telephone and
claim to be from Microsoft. They might also setup websites with persistent pop-ups displaying fake
warning messages and a phone number to call and get the “issue” fixed. They might offer to help
solve your computer problems or sell you a software license. Once they have access to your
computer, they can do the following:
· Trick you into installing malicious software that could capture sensitive data, such as online
banking user names and passwords. They might also then charge you to remove this
· Convince you to visit legitimate websites (like www.ammyy.com) to download software
that will allow them to take control of your computer remotely and adjust settings to leave
your computer vulnerable.
· Request credit card information so they can bill you for phony services.
· Direct you to fraudulent websites and ask you to enter credit card and other personal or
financial information there.
“Remember, Microsoft will never proactively reach out to you to provide unsolicited PC
or technical support. Any communication Microsoft will have with you must be initiated by
Telephone Tech Support Scams: What you need to know
Cybercriminals often use publicly available phone directories, so they might know your name and
other personal information when they call you. They might even guess what operating system you're
Once they've gained your trust, they might ask for your user name and password or ask you to go
to a legitimate website (such as www.ammyy.com) to install software that will let them access your
computer to fix it. Once you do this, your computer and your personal information are vulnerable.
Do not trust unsolicited calls. Do not provide any personal information.
Scam Pop-Ups: What You Need to Know
Another well-known trick is the website pop-up, that little browser window that sometimes
appears while you’re searching the Web. Cybercriminals set up websites with scam pop-ups with
messages and phone numbers. These pop-ups usually are not easy to close.
While some pop-ups are useful and important, others are traps that attempt to mislead you into
revealing sensitive personal or financial information, paying for fake anti-virus software, or even
installing malware and viruses onto your device.
Do not call the number in the pop-up. Microsoft’s error and warning messages never
include a phone number.
Here are some of the organizations that cybercriminals claim to be from:
· Windows Helpdesk
· Windows Service Center
· Microsoft Tech Support
· Microsoft Support
· Windows Technical Department Support Group
· Microsoft Research and Development Team (Microsoft R & D Team)
Whenever you receive a phone call or see a pop-up window on your PC and feel uncertain
whether it is from someone at Microsoft, don’t take the risk. Reach out to Tech Plus and we will
assist you in this endevour.
How to protect yourself from tech support scams
If someone claiming to be from Microsoft tech support contacts you:
· Do not purchase any software or services.
· Ask if there is a fee or subscription associated with the "service." If there is, hang up.
· Never give control of your computer to a third party unless you can confirm that it is a
legitimate representative of a computer support team with whom you are already a
· Take the person's information down and immediately report it to your local authorities.
· Never provide your credit card or financial information to someone claiming to be from
Microsoft tech support.
What to do if you already gave information to a tech
If you think that you might have downloaded malware from a tech support scam website or allowed
a cybercriminal to access your computer, take these steps:
· Change your computer's password, change the password on your main email account, and
change the password for any financial accounts, especially your bank and credit card.
· Scan your computer with Anti-Malware program (Malwarebytes is recommended) to find
out if you have malware installed on your computer.
Microsoft does not make unsolicited phone calls to help
you fix your computer.
In this scam cybercriminals call you and claim to be from Microsoft Tech Support. They offer to
help solve your computer problems. Once the crooks have gained your trust, they attempt to steal
from you and damage your computer with malicious software including viruses and spyware.
Although law enforcement can trace phone numbers, perpetrators often use pay phones, disposable
cellular phones, or stolen cellular phone numbers. It's better to avoid being conned rather than try to
repair the damage afterwards.
Treat all unsolicited phone calls with skepticism. Do not provide any personal information.
If you receive an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft Tech Support, hang
up. Microsoft does not make these kinds of calls.