Aggressive, persistent Windows tech support scammers continue to stalk consumers

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'No signs of slowing down,' says Microsoft of bogus phone calls; Computerworld sees a spike in reports from readers.
Scammers posing as Microsoft support technicians continue to work the phones in search of victims, the company said last week, and have, in fact, grown bolder in their tactics.
And in the last few weeks, Computerworld has seen a spike in the volume of reports from readers who have been targeted by fake support schemes.
"What's really alarming is that this type of scam shows no signs of slowing down," said Kirsten Kliphouse, the Microsoft executive who heads the company's customer service and support group, in a May 2 blog. "Increasingly, we hear via our front-line support team, and even from friends and family, that these scammers are getting bolder, targeting not only individuals but also businesses."
The scams rely on a combination of aggressive sales tactics, lies and half-truths. Cold callers pose as computer support technicians, most often claiming to be from Microsoft, and try to trick victims into believing that their computer is infected, usually by having them look at a Windows log that typically shows scores of harmless or low-level errors. At that point, the sale pitch starts, with the caller trying to convince the consumer or business worker to download software or let the "technician" remotely access the PC.
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Every now and again this topic crops up again, I wish there was an easy way to rid the planet of the scum.

9 replies

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These scammers should be drawn and quartered!
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Hello, This scam is so sad for the victims! I wish the TVNews would report this because so many are unaware of these scams and consumers are spending countless dollars to these criminals ...isn't there cyber police? Ugh!
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We get customers contacting us after receiving these calls quite often, usually because they suspect the calls are scams and want to verify that they are indeed scams.
One of our researchers gets contacted fairly regularly by these scammers at the office, and has documented the experience in this Blog Post
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Thanks for the information, Dan...useful to know.  And the blog article made for very interesting reading indeed.
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Great article DanP, I just sent this article to someone I know who was scammed already a few weeks ago. Thanks!
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It is now on my Timeline on FaceBook so hopefully it will help it to spread and educate others.
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Good idea. ..I should of thought of that!;)
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The following article is a update on Windows tech Support scammers.
(Windows tech support scammers take root in the U.S.)
By Gregg Keizer 
August 11, 2014 03:04 PM ET Computerworld - Not every Windows tech support scam starts in India, not every scammer speaks in heavily-accented English, a security company said today.
In a new trend, scams have gone home-grown, said Malwarebytes on Monday, with twists that include bogus warnings driven by malicious websites that urge users to call a toll-free number.
"This is the first instance [of a Windows support scam in the U.S.] on this scale that I've found," said Jerome Segura, a senior security researcher with San Jose, Calif.-based Malwarebytes. "Most scammers are in India, but we wanted to expose this because they're harming U.S. customers, who will feel more comfortable with a [native] English speaker."
ComputerWorld/ Full Article Here/
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Boca Raton, surprising, thought for sure the article was going to reveal scammers in Miami, Just goes to prove that scams can originate anyware, including the more affluent areas.
True that many scams are originating in India, that does not mean that is the only orgin. Never the less, my phone rings several times a day with calls from scammers with heavy accents. Could be India, could be anywhere including my area, South Florida. Perhaps this scammer in Boca had the same amount of calls and figured if he cant beat them, join them. Not an excuse and not acceptable by no means what so ever.
Not very bright giving windows error warning on Apple systems!
Great article Anthony!