Friday tip: avoid this IT support telephone scam

By: John McGarvey

Date: 5 July 2013

Friday tip: avoid this IT support telephone scam

If you get an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be from 'Microsoft support', 'Microsoft Windows support' or something similar, put the phone down.

It's a scam, and for this Friday's IT tip we explain how it works and what to watch for.

'There's a problem with your computer'

We all have computer problems now and again. And you've probably read about the security threats from hackers, viruses and malware.

So when someone calls you out of the blue claiming they're from Microsoft and that they're calling because your internet provider has reported a problem with your computer, it's human nature to listen.

If there's a problem, you want to put it right.

And if they ask for a payment of - say - £50, well, that's a small price to pay for the security of knowing your computer is safe and sound.

'I can fix it for you now'

But wait. If you offer payment and hand over log in details for your computer, the consequences could be severe.

For a start, you'll have passed your payment details onto a scammer. And you'll also have granted them access to your computer, along with any sensitive data saved on it.

So, this Friday's tip is simple: if you receive a call like this, just hang up.

There is no problem with your computer. There is no Microsoft support team calling people in this way. And so you should steer well clear.

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