Tag Archives: scam

Don’t fall for the Microsoft ‘tech support’ scam!

phonescamMy wife received an interesting call today from someone claiming to be from Microsoft technical support.  According to them our computers had contacted because we needed technical support.

Of course it’s a scam, but one that people (particularly older people) get taken in with all the time.

For the uninitiated, the scam involves someone (usually from India) calling and saying that they are representatives from Microsoft technical support. They then tell the victim that their computer is running slowly because of viruses or because they need an additional piece of software — at a cost, of course. It’s been floating around for almost as many years as the Nigerian money transfer scam and is still going strong.

Once a person buys into the scam they take them through a number of steps showing them files and error messages on their computer (every computer has error messages if you know where to look) and then they sell the victim “technical support” or an “extended warranty”.   This will involve several steps:

  • Taking control of your PC
  • Watching as you enter your bank account and credit card details into an online payment (the online payment – usually around $299 – is real)
  • Trashing your PC or, in some cases, installing malicious software on your PC so that they can continue to exploit you after the call is over

If you want to see what happens you can watch the video on the Malwarebytes website – via What happens if you play along with a Microsoft ‘tech support’ scam?  Spoiler alert – they end by calling him names and trashing his PC.

Unfortunately it is often the elderly that fall for this the most, so do yourselves a favor and tell your older relatives to contact you before they make online payments or install software from cold callers.  A little time spent on the phone with them could save everyone from an enormous amount of hassle in the future.

Any legitimate company will happily give a call back number and wait while you check with people.  And if you’re really not sure then post a comment below letting me know what is going on and I’ll get back to you.

 

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Filed under Online Security

Domain Registry Services of America – SCAM!

Today I received a very official looking letter from a company called Domain Registry Services informing me that the domain of one of my customers is due to expire “in the next few months”.  If you have received one of these don’t be fooled – it’s a scam!

Here’s how it works: Domain Registry Services sends website owners an official-looking “expiration notice” (see below), urging them to “act today” to prevent “loss of your online identity making it difficult for your customers and friends to locate you.”

They are hoping that you won’t look too closely at it, fill in the form and send it back.  If you do you will have inadvertently transferred the domain registration from the company you originally registered with (GoDaddy, BlueHost, etc.) and signed that over to DRS.

I have no idea what their registration services are like but I can say that they are at least twice as expensive as any reputable domain registrar ($35 for one year when most charge between $10 and $15).  I can only assume a company that stoops to such underhanded tactics to win clients would be an absolute nightmare to deal with and any chance of getting a refund has to be slim at best.

If you receive one of these notices do yourself a huge favor and file it in the round filing cabinet.

scam

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Filed under Computers, Online Security