A global survey by Microsoft has found that two-thirds of respondents have experienced what is known as a ‘fix scam’.
Typically, these scams involve cyber-criminals pretending to be genuine tech support representatives of Microsoft or other big companies. They are operated via simple phone calls, often playing on telling the user that they have a virus on their computer, trying to obtain remote access to the user’s machine, or even to extract payment for their ‘services’.
But these scams are spreading fast because the criminals have moved beyond the landline and are increasingly using emails, websites and pop-ups to catch out their victims.
At any rate, be warned that the scams are becoming more prevalent in the UK, with Microsoft finding that 69% of Brits have been hit by a tech support scam.
10% of respondents said that they had continued with the scam – i.e. they fell for it – and 2% followed the criminal’s instructions to the letter and actually ended up losing money as a result.
Microsoft stated that it will never proactively reach out to users to offer tech support, and that users should be suspicious of any software or services being touted in such a manner – and that you should never give control of your computer over to a third party, unless you can confirm you’re talking to a legitimate support rep.
The easiest way to do the latter is to end the current call, and contact the company yourself (preferably using a different phone to ensure the scammers haven’t remained on the line – this is a common trick with bank account scams these days, where they play a dialling noise when you pick the phone back up, to make you think you’ve redialled).
For more information on this story, visit the TechRadar news article.
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