Friday, October 25, 2013

Scam Alert: Anil Singh Called From Microsoft This Morning To Fix My Computer - But Not My Feedburner Problems

I got a call this morning telling me to go to my computer so he could help me fix my problems.
Steve:  What problems?  How would you know I had computer problems?
Anil:  From the error messages.
Steve:  I don't even use Microsoft.
Anil:  You have an Apple.
Steve:  Why are you calling me?

And I hung up the phone. 

I know that you never give out any information to unsolicited callers, but still, I wondered.  I've been dealing with a feedburner problem and one of my email accounts has been overly inclusive in blocking spam and tech support is currently working on that.  And it's a Microsoft Outlook system.

The Feedburner sends out messages to people who subscribe to my blog and to websites that have my blog listed in their blogrolls.  While most people get here through search engines, new posts get most of their initial hits from people who see the new post title on one of the blogs that has What Do I Know? listed.  It's been working very inconsistently and I've found advice telling me how to ping the information manually, but even that wasn't working last night.  If anyone else is having that trouble, Unzip Tech is the most helpful site I found for this.   I'm hoping this time I got it fixed for good.  We'll see. (Or not see if I didn't fix it.)

For those interested in Redistricting, the main post that didn't get linked elsewhere is on 
the issue of compactness in house districts 3 and 5 in Fairbanks which are in dispute before the judge now. 

I did google 'spam microsoft help phone calls' and here's what Microsoft says about this sort of call on their website:

Avoid tech support phone scams

Cybercriminals don't just send fraudulent email messages and set up fake websites. They might also call you on the telephone and claim to be from Microsoft. They might offer to help solve your computer problems or sell you a software license. Once they have access to your computer, they can do the following:
  • Trick you into installing malicious software that could capture sensitive data, such as online banking user names and passwords. They might also then charge you to remove this 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.
  • Direct you to fraudulent websites and ask you to enter credit card and other personal or financial information there.
Neither Microsoft nor our partners make unsolicited phone calls (also known as cold calls) to charge you for computer security or software fixes.

Telephone tech support scams: What you need to know

Cybercriminals often use publicly available phone directories so they might know your name and other personal information when they call you. They might even guess what operating system you're using.
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. Once you do this, your computer and your personal information is vulnerable.
Do not trust unsolicited calls. Do not provide any personal information.
Here are some of the organizations that cybercriminals claim to be from:
  • Windows Helpdesk
  • Windows Service Center
  • Microsoft Tech Support
  • Microsoft Support
  • Windows Technical Department Support Group
  • Microsoft Research and Development Team (Microsoft R & D Team)
 There's a lot more at the link.

1 comment:

  1. I got a similar call this morning and hung up telling the called I use an apple computer.


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