‘Microsoft’ Scam – Be aware!

August 20, 2010

A company claiming to be associated with Microsoft have been making unsolicited phone calls to members of the Armagh community and suggesting to computer owners that their computer or laptop has various critical errors that are putting their important data at risk.This company, fronted seemingly by men with Indian accents, then proceed to get the computer owner to check several areas of their PC which reportedly provide evidence of the issues to which they are calling, thusly, adding weight to their claims that they are here to assist you and that they called just in time.

It is at this point that you are directed to an online pay-site and asked to enter your credit or debit card details and make a one off payment of £60.00 (and in some reported instances as much as £200) whereby they will then repair your computer or laptop remotely using the internet and a small application they ask you to download to allow control of your PC.  This repair involves little more than simply clearing the error logs and turning off some system features giving the impression that your computer has gained in performance, therefore not actually changing or fixing anything.

Any Microsoft Windows product, even if brand new and just out of the box, will have a number of logged issues or ‘errors’ immediately, most, if not all of which, will have no bearing on the computers use, its security or the reliability of your important data.  As computers are put to use day in and day out, they do of course build up many junk files and errors in the same way that an un-serviced car will build up dirt and debris throughout the engine and whilst this may degrade performance over time, it does not necessarily mean your computer will stop working or that you will have lost any of your data.

Unless you are experiencing possible performance issues or failures, there should be no reason to doubt the stability of your computer system or that it needs repaired by anyone claiming to be from Microsoft or otherwise.  It is always advised to keep your systems software up to date and routinely back up any data you can’t afford to lose.

If you have been in contact with anyone over the phone who asked you to install software from the internet or to make any changes to your system, I advise you to get in touch with us to have your equipment examined in case your security has been compromised and be sure to update and run a full Antivirus scan as well as Antimalware.

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