SCAM Alert

Please see the latest information here.  Four arrests made in the U.K. regarding the Microsoft Scam.

In recent weeks we have received a flurry of calls from customers regarding cold calls from Microsoft or their Broadband provider and a number of suspected virus pop-ups on their PC’s. These are scams and should be ignored. If in doubt please feel free to contact us. Please do not fall into their trap. Here we hope to explain a little about what they do and why.

The calls usually follow a certain pattern where the caller will tell you they are either calling you from Microsoft or “Your Broadband Provider” telling you that there are problems with your computer(s). This is important. To start with Microsoft would never call a customer out of the blue and state that they know there are problems with your computer. Microsoft only ever return calls on active cases that have been processed and logged via their help desk. As soon as you hear this, hang up. Alternatively the caller says they are calling from your broadband provider. Note that they will never say who the provider is, just that they are calling from them. Again, in this situation hang up. Both of these cases are examples of telephone scams. In each case, if taken further, the caller will talk you through setting up a remote session on your computer. In doing so they will now have full access to your machine and all your files. They will then proceed to run a few freeware programs to delete temporary files and then charge anywhere between £200 and £350. If payment is refused we have had cases of callers changing or adding passwords to machines thus blocking your access to your own equipment without their assistance, and of course paying their bill.

Another case of a scam, this time online, is that of the urgent “Virus Alert”. Usually it will pop up on websites in bright bold colours warning you that there is a dangerous virus on your computer that must be dealt with immediately, and to do so call this 0800 number. Occasionally they’ll even have a price listed, nearly always in dollars and somewhere around the $20-30 mark.  They will claim that if you pay that price all your problems will be solved. This is untrue and simply a means to gain your credit card details which will be used at a later date to siphon funds from your account. It is best to ignore the pop up closing it, or the web browser, if possible. It is very unlikely that your machine has been infected with a virus and that this is simply a pop-up.  However, to be safe you should run a full virus scan on the PC or laptop concerned.  You can call us for assistance if you are unsure of how to do this.

In both cases the scammers may be after credit card details and other personal information. Once someone has remote software on your PC they can access it whenever they like, checking your files for information or planting data mining viruses to spread onto others. It is always best to stop, think, and hang up the phone or close the computer. Acting rashly could result in financial loss or identity theft.

If you are in any doubt please call us on 020 8688 0844 or use the Contact Us page. We are more than happy to talk you through any issues you may have and put your mind at ease.  A remote session by CCR will cost substantially less than any of the scams mentioned above.