I just received a call from a guy who said that my Windows was infected. He wanted me to sit in front of my computer while he fixed it. He became angry when I told him no and I hung up.
Thanks for writing, Betty. This type of call is a popular scam and you did exactly the right thing. Cybercriminals often use publicly available phone directories to call you and offer tech support. Once they’ve gained your trust, they might ask for your user name and password or ask you to go to a website to install software that will let them access your computer to fix it. If you do this, your computer and your personal information is vulnerable.
Do not trust unsolicited calls. Do not provide any personal information.
- Never provide your credit card or financial information to someone claiming to be from Microsoft tech support.
- Do not purchase any software or services.
- 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 customer.
Get more information on how to avoid tech support phone scams.
If you think you’ve been a victim of a tech support scam
If you think that you might have downloaded malware from a phone tech support scam website or allowed a cybercriminal to access your computer, take these steps:
- Change your computer’s password. Change your Hotmail or other email password if you’ve given it to the caller.
- Scan your computer with the Microsoft Safety Scanner to find out if you have malware installed on your computer. (This program automatically expires 10 days after you download it so it won’t clog your hard drive.)
- Install Microsoft Security Essentials. (Microsoft Security Essentials is a free program. If someone calls you to install this product and then charges you for it, this phone call is also a scam.)