A ‘Microsoft Support’ scam phone call caught on video, very interesting and educational. Everyone should watch this to be sure they don’t get caught in this kind of scam.
For those of us working in the IT industry, we get used to removing viruses and malware from plenty of machines on a regular basis. Malware is a huge problem that seems to only be getting worse. It’s easy for the less tech savvy to get tricked into downloading a piece of software that disguises itself as something else. While browsing the internet, users can also get tricked or scared into downloading and installing “Fake AV” programs that, most of the time these “Fake AV” programs copy popular Anti-Virus programs (AVG, Norton, Microsoft Security Essentials, etc.) and fool users by making them think that their computers are infected.
I can understand how confusing all of this is for the average computer user, being bombarded with ads and scams online constantly can be overwhelming. Having a good AV program installed is certainly important, as well as being mindful of pop-ups and shifty websites. But, one thing AV software can’t protect a computer from is a fake Microsoft technical support phone call scam. These types of scams have been going on for several years but, seem to be increasing in popularity. Criminals are finding that, while more and more people are becoming educated on how to avoid scams on the internet, they are succeeding in scamming people over the phone, they trick people into downloading malicious software, or giving the scammer full access to their computer. They call your house and act like a Microsoft Representative, telling you that your machine is infected and at risk. The purpose of these calls is to get an easy payday by scaring you into thinking there’s something really wrong with your computer and that they can fix it for you.
Fortunately, the methods used by some of these criminals to dupe users were recently captured by Jerome Segura, a senior security researcher at anti-malware company Malwarebytes. The video demonstrates the kinds of tactics used by these scammers to trick users into allowing them to remote in to your machine and take it over. Segura played along with the caller and recorded the entire interaction in a YouTube video. These scams usually start off by claiming to be a Microsoft representative, they ask you to turn on your computer to perform some checks for errors. They essentially ask you to open different applications which aren’t typically known by regular users, then tell you that the files you are looking at are malicious viruses and spyware. Usually, these are just event log files and/or temp files—neither of which pose any threat to your computers’ security.
I highly recommend watching the video below. Pay attention to what the scammers asks Jerome to do and notice how strange the ‘technician’ acts when Jerome asks questions. And also, just for the record, Microsoft will NEVER call a user to let them know that their machine is infected…NEVER! That’s not how they operate. To avoid being the next victim, don’t ever take a phone call from someone who claims to be from Microsoft, even if tell you that your machine has a problem.