Avoid scam phone calls

Gabby writes:

I just wanted to let you know that I received a phone call this evening from a guy called “Daniel” from “Technical Maintenance of Microsoft Windows.” He said that Microsoft had received error messages from my computer and he asked me to turn my computer on and follow his directions to fix this. I told him that I would sort it out myself and hung up on him.

That sounds like a typical tech support phone scam that cybercriminals use to:

  • Trick you into downloading malicious software.
  • Take control of your computer remotely and adjust settings to leave your computer vulnerable.
  • Request credit card information so they can bill you for phony services.

Gabby did the right thing by hanging up on “Daniel.” For more information, see Avoid tech support phone 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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  1. Anonymous

    go a call from a guy saying he is From Microsoft and that my computer is infected and he needs to fix it before it is transmitted to others via the internet. He seems to know the system well but be careful as it appears as if he wants to get control of you machine. He is very convincing but when pushed he wants to refer you to his supervisor. I asked him for a telphone number where I can call to verify that he is legit but he kept wanting me to talk to his supervisor. He wanted me to log on to a website. WWW. thewindowslivesupport.com.

    Be careful

  2. Anonymous

    I just received a call from and spent 40 minutes talking to a a guy from Technical Maintenance of Microsoft Windows.  this was the second call I received from – the previous was about three weeks ago, but I would not talk with him then.  I immediately called Microsoft and asked if the phone number was a legitimate Microsoft number and was told it was.  The guy wanted to take over my computer and stupidly I let him.  He went through a long spiel about Microsoft receiving error message and told me I needed to renew my Microsoft Software warranty.  What is that?  anyhow I asked him to return access to my computer to me but he wouldn't = he kept insisting that his supervisor wanted to talk with me and he came on the line.  I told him again I wanted access to my computer back.  Then I just shut my computer down.  When I tried to reopen, I couldn't at first and had to wait to "restart" my computer so I shut it down again.  Now I can access my computer normally, but what is Microsoft Software Warranty renewal?  I've never heard of a warranty on software much less renewing it.  They wanted to sell me this warranty and gave me a website:  pcsoftwareservices.com.  Perhaps someone can follow up on this???

  3. Anonymous

    On August 21 I also got a call from an arabic speaking man and he also said he was from Microsoft and my computer was giving out security and error messages if I didnt fix it it would crash at any moment. I hung up on him He called me back thr next day same person but this time he was more persistant..Im calling Microsoft today!!!

  4. Anonymous

    Had a similar call 23/08/12 giving phone numbers 0808 280 2518 and 0800 977 0035, address Century House 100 London Road Leicester LE2 0QN.

    Then wanted me to type something into the "Run" box – whereupon I ended the call, because this definitely "smelled"!

  5. Anonymous

    Just received a phone call from a guy named Peter that said he worked for Microsoft Windows Support. He said that they had received several error messages and he would assist me with correcting the problem before my system "crashed completely".I said I was about to go out, and asked for his number so I could call back for assistance. He was reluctant but finally gave the number(973)975-0970. Called back, no answer. Scam I think.

  6. Anonymous

    I just got the very same phone call about an hour ago. They send you to http://www.teamviewer.com and try to get you to download the "Remote Access" program.  I did NOT and hung up.

  7. Anonymous

    One more point about the phone call, they knew my Windows 7 license ID number.

  8. Anonymous

    I just got such a phone call from 253-248-6229 today 8/22 at 9AM telling me that same thing. They wanted me to press the windows button on my keyboard with the letter "R". Then they had me type in EVENTWR but I did not press the okay to run. They are very convincing with their urgency, and foreign accents. They had my information but that could have been found on the internet, stolen, or rented from a list company.  Thanks for having this security alert.I think it should be emailed to all your custoemrs and put out on teh news

  9. Anonymous

    I have received two such phone calls just this week.  The last guy even read my license number to me!  How would he have gotten this and can he do me any harm with it?  BTW…the software they want you to download is 'teamviewer' through which they can take complete control of your computer as it is remote access software.  You can get more info on that software by searching for it on CNET.com

  10. Anonymous

    Received a call from Martin, who suggested that I should save my computer as there were too many errors or whatever.  I asked for information from Martin: Why are you calling me?  (to save your computer)

    What is the name of your company?   (IYOGI)    

    What is your address?  (N.Y., 254 Avenue 6120 NY

    What is your telephone number (62347 0009)

    What is the area code?   (no response, even though I kept the phone line open for a while.  

  11. Anonymous

    I may have hung up once too often; I cannot access my home page, my hotmail account or my on-line banking accounts.

  12. Anonymous

    I recieved the same phone call on 8/28. I told him I was not going to go along with his scam and hung up on him.

  13. Anonymous

    Today I received a similar phone call can't remember the name, but he had an Indian accent. Told him I would call The Geek Squad to come check out my computer, said good-bye and hung up.

  14. Anonymous

    i also got called and he ask to enter http://WWW.AMMYY.COm to take over computer task remotely and I thought microsoft do not call It is scamm be careful

  15. Anonymous

    I have had two calls from a company in England saying they are qualified Microsoft engineers and they have been told by Microsoft to contact me to correct error messages that are being sent from my computer.

    I am not aware of this, nor have I received any notification from Microsoft about a problem.

    They want me to operate keys on my keyboard to put the problem right, but I am reluctent to do this as there is a scam here which gives access to a third party.

    They are called People Max Solutions allegedly from Wembley in North London, but the number they give is incorrect for that place.

    Can you confirm that they are who they say, and are they safe to use. It was cold calling, ie I did not contact them. They also seemed quite offended when I chose not to believe them, but in this life with so much fraud going on can you blame me.

  16. Anonymous

    ive had the same phone call this morning said exactly same to me please all be very wary

  17. Anonymous

    Received call from man who said he was from tech maintenance at Micro soft. said microsoft received messages from my computer. tried to get me to use certain keys. I said i would not, and hung up on him.

  18. Anonymous

    I just received a phone call from "Justin Clock" about the same thing.  "Justin said that he was from microsoft windows and that they were getting many error messages and he was going to help me fix my computer.  I told him I had a mac.  When I asked him how he knew I had a computer he could not give me an answer.

  19. Anonymous

    I got a call from somebody named Gary saying he was from Microsoft Online Support and that he wanted me to turn on My computer and follow his instructions to fix my computer. He said his phone # is 718-594-4518. I told him I would contact Microsoft to check if this was real.

  20. Anonymous

    Also received phone call from Global Tech Expert Limited 253-486-1798 or 1796; his name was Calvin and said the same, even said we may have a trojan horse.  Said he was a microsoft engineer and from a microsoft windows company. Is this for real or is this a scam? Please advise.  Thank you.

  21. Anonymous

    Just got another call from a man with an Indian accent claiming my computer was infected with a virus. This is the second one within a weeks time.  He said he was from ETech with the phone number 567-244-4191 (which is in Norwalk, Ohio, apparently). He said he was in San Fransico, then New York, but wouldn't give me an address. I told him to take me off their call list and that I was done talking to him.

  22. Anonymous

    I also got called and he ask to enter http://WWW.AMMYY.COm to take over computer task remotely. I was foolish enough to do it and by the time I realised, he not only copied my info, but when I said stop he was about to Put a password on my PC, to stop me from using it.

    Again on Sept 10,2012, I got a similar call and just hung up.

    I have reported this to the FBI back in March, and never heard from the FBI again.

  23. Anonymous

    I received a call like this one, the caller who had a foreign accent wanted me to turn on my computer and follow his instructions.  I asked him which one?  He said the one you use, since I use several different computers and a tablet, and didn't know which one, I realized the caller was a scam and hung up the phone.

  24. Anonymous

    I own a small computer repair shop in central New Jersey.  Had two customers come in this week stating that they got calls.  The callers identified themselves as Microsoft Certified Techs.  They ran defrag and claimed all the "red" lines were "infections" on the computer that they could "resolve" for the right sum of money.

  25. Anonymous

    I have been getting these same calls for well over a year. Nothing would make them stop alling.  Now I just tell them I don't have a computer and they seem surprised and hang up.

  26. Anonymous

    Yes, someone phoned my husband saying they were from Microsoft and he said oh email with your details, the guy hung up.  They then called again and my dopey 19 year old started doing what they said.  WE still don't know yet what she did she's not come home yet after a night out so hopefully its not too serious~!

  27. Anonymous

    What is Microsoft doing about these scam phone calls we are all getting? Are they investigating and trying to put a stop to them or just ignoring them and letting the public get duped?

  28. Anonymous

    We have received dozens of these calls over the past 18 months. The person claims they are from Windows support and they were getting error messages from my computer. FYI – Microsoft does NOT cold call their customers. These people want one of two things – access to your computer and/or your credit card information so they can bill you for "fixing the problem". Don't fall for it – instead report them to Phone Busters of similar agencies that deal with phone fraud.

  29. Anonymous

    I told them I didn't have a computer and hung up.  

  30. Anonymous

    The same thing happened to me last night at 6pm – I was completely taken in although crossexamined the person (from Micr.. Technical Support) very carefully. Gave cc AS HE said it would only cost £10 for life long fix – found out this morning by ringing cc company in fact £168.90 taken. Have canx the cc and also blocked access to online banking account- new account security being arranged.  Now wiping clean the computer and backing up – will have to reinstall everything to be sure no further problems. Anything else I should do?  apart from never being taken in by this again!!

  31. Anonymous

    Hello, further to my earlier comment, I was told by the engineer, Clayton Scott, that I needed a Microsoft System Protector – he even gave me the license number and his employee number.  Spoke to his supervisor, Jack Li, who sent me a wordpad message as if from Microsoft.  The telephone numbers are 0870 6010100 and 0203 286 4834.  The 0870 number is an old genuine Microsoft number I believe as it gives the correct Microsoft number 0844 800 2400 when dialled.  These scam people also knew Windows name and details that could only be found if from Microsoft (or so I thought!!). Please be very aware – I feel very stupid having fallen for this scam.

  32. Anonymous

    Ask yourself;

    1. How come the calling "support" knows you have a computer?

    2. How do they know your telephone number?

    3. How do they connect your computer's IP with your telephone-number!?

    They've called me three times, the first time I told them to go and fu*k themselves.

    The second time I was trying to understand their "business-scheme".

    The third time, I spent as much time as I could on the phone in order to steal as much time and money from them as possible (less time for them to pester a hapless victim).

  33. Anonymous

    OMG!! same call I received last week , didn't give credit info but did fall for them to access computer. now I have to get new one…

  34. jdmccallumhd34ht@aol.com

    I have had several of these phone calls over the last few years I have given progesively ruder replies but they must have the hide of a Rhino because they always come back for more abbuse.

  35. Anonymous

    also received a  call. I told him he was full of —- and hung up.

  36. Anonymous

    The same thing happened to me. But I have a mac so i knew it was some kind of scam!

  37. Anonymous

    Same thing happened to me tonight! Phone call was from 2543001712830171283

  38. Anonymous

    I have received 3 of these calls this week. The last one said he was Shane Wilson, and he was from Microsoft Management, and suggested that I call microsoft at 949 390 9699 to validate. That number is a cell number from Anaheim, CA.

  39. Anonymous

    want to check out company called my tech guru on 08081598763

  40. Anonymous

    I just got a call like this.  Since the caller ID said "Unknown", I asked him how I could be sure that he was from Microsoft.  I asked if I could call Microsoft customer service directly & get help that way, knowing that I was dealing with Microsoft, and he directed me to a website: http://www.thewindowslivesupport.com where I could see a logo.  I didn't even go there, since when I told him my husband's employer required & oversaw our home virus protection software & that I would have to clear any changes with them first, he said, "Then just leave it m'am, just leave it.  I can see you are not trusting us."

  41. Anonymous

    Just recieved phone call from number (212 586 9325) from someone saying they are from microsoft and that I have malicious software or a virus on my computer. When I asked them to send all relevent info to my address he hung up. Name on phone came up V025015524000006.

  42. Anonymous

    Answered a unknown call today on my husbands cell, the man told me he was calling from microsoft and that my computer was in danger of a worm or virus, several error reports had been sent to them. I told this guy that the phone number he called on was not registered with the home computer he ask what that number was? I said if your with Microsoft you should know it, he them told me to turn on my computer and he would instruct me to fix the problem, I ask him where he was calling from and he said US California, I them ask him for a phone number that I could call back at a better time, he said he couldnt do that, so I ask what the city was he was calling from again he said US California, I ask what the city was again, after a pause he said San Diego, then I ask for the zip code he paused then gave me a six digit number, I told him he failed the quiz and he hung up. Warning, ask questions please even if you get into a shouting match as I did.

  43. Anonymous

    I received a phone call this evening from “Technical Maintenance of Microsoft Windows.” He said that Microsoft had received error messages from my computer and he asked me to turn my computer on and follow his directions to fix this. I told him that I would contact Microsoft myself and hung up on him. I then ran a full scan of my computer and found no threats.

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