Online scams are no April Fool’s Joke

On April Fools’ Day you might have fun being the recipient or the instigator of a harmless prank or two, but it’s good for you to know about online pranks we’ve seen that are far from harmless.

Phone scams. Cybercriminals don’t just email you or post on your social networking site anymore. They call you, pretending to be Microsoft tech support and offering to help you fix your computer. Microsoft will not make unsolicited calls to offer support. For more information, see Avoid tech support phone scams.

Verify your account scam. If you receive an email message that asks you to verify your username and password for your Microsoft account, your Hotmail account, or other account, it’s a scam designed to steal your personal information. The message often includes the threat of immediate account closure. Microsoft will not close your account if you do not provide personal information in an email. For more information, see Avoid scams that use the Microsoft name fraudulently.

Fake security software scams. If you see a pop-up window saying that your computer is infected or unprotected it could be a scam known as “rogue security software” or “scareware.” Rogue security software might report a virus, even though your computer is actually clean. For examples of rogue security software, see our Real vs. Rogue Facebook app.

Learn about how to help protect yourself from other popular scams

About the Author
Eve Blakemore

Group Manager, Trustworthy Computing

Eve Blakemore is a Group Manager for Trustworthy Computing who delivers consumer guidance around the latest trends in security and privacy. Eve joined Microsoft in 1998 and has worked in corporate and field roles with Microsoft Learning, US Public Sector, Read more »

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4 comments
  1. Anonymous

    My Hotmail account has been taken over by a fraudulent thief requesting credit card information.  I can no longer access my Hotmail account without providing this information.  Can you help find this jerk and get me back into my own account?

  2. Anonymous

    I'm not sure whether I checked the wrong box in my Microsoft Live Mail but I keep getting this weird message. Every time I try and open program, I get a message box saying: "Do you want to allow the following program to make changes to your computer?" It lists Windows Live Mail and Messenger. It says the origin of the file is my hard drive. It says it is a verified Microsoft product. I have tried dozens of ways to eliminate the message, no luck. What gives? Microsoft help is useless. Any suggestions?

  3. Anonymous

    i got into my bank,but it will not let me look at my acount.I could not get in with my password.i call y bank,they got in but i cannot,could you help me,mybe i have been hoax.

  4. Anonymous

    I am really pissed off because I have microsoft security essentials to protect my computer and the other day a trojan virus got into it and I had to delete my account and start a new one which in turn made me loss all my pictures of our new baby and other ones.  NOT COOL !!!!!!   Thought this was to protect your computer not destroy it !!!!!

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