Got an odd phone call at my house yesterday morning. As a 3rd shift type worker and a daysleeper I do not enjoy people calling me that late. Imagine my anger then, when I answer a call and the Hindu on the other end of the call identifies herself as "Windows Service Center" informs me that my computer has "many, many, spywares and viruses."
Yeah. This sounds totally legitimate.
I wasn’t in the mood, so I made several rude comments (including lots of profanity and my best impersonation of Apu from the Simpsons) and hung up the phone. Yes, I was a little harsh with the casual racism there, but criminals bring out the worst in me. Honest, I don’t really have anything against Indians normally.
I didn’t listen long enough to know exactly what she would have said, but I know this scam. They tell you they ("Microsoft") have gotten several "error reports" from your computer which indicates to them you have viruses and spyware. They will then ask you to press Win + r and bring up an event log. It WILL look pretty bad, but it always will. That will log any errors that your computer may have. And it will usually have several, so don’t panic when you see it. They will then direct you to their "web portal" or get you to try and download their "anti-virus" program.
Don’t do it. It is a scam. Microsoft will NEVER call you out of the blue. Companies who make calls to customers or just cold calls have to follow several rules. If they refuse, it’s a scammer.
1. They have to tell you the name of the company they are calling in behalf of. This scam passes this one because they call on behalf of Microsoft.
2. They have to tell you their full name. They will make this up.
3. They have to give you a call back number and the address that they are calling from. They won’t do this or they will make it up. This is where you get them; always ask for a call back number, then hang up and call back.
There are some other rules, but this will separate the scammers from the real calls. Not that anyone will ever call you and offer to help you with your computer. This isn’t a new scam, but it is making the rounds now.
So if they call you… be as mean and nasty as you want to them.
I’ll forgive you.