Thursday, 24 October 2013

Windows Service Centre scammers still active


Scammers have been around for a long time. Although they might change their methods from time to time, their goal stays the same: getting money out of your pocket.

The scenario of the scam is the following: Your phone rings and the caller asks for the householder, quoting their full name and address prior to saying “I am calling from Microsoft’s Windows Service Centre. We’ve had a report from you service provider of virus problems on your computer.” 

After a couple minutes of research you can see that the following scam has been ‘in practice’ for quite some time now. What’s so special about it then? It’s the fact that this time the scammers phoned Firebrand’s Senior Microsoft Instructor, Mike Brown.

The caller introduced himself as Richard Williams from the USA. He claimed to have a report detailing an extensive list of viruses that Mike’s computer had. In fact, he was willing to prove it through the phone. He instructed Mike (ironic, isn’t it?) to open Event Viewer and filter the application log to see all warning and error messages that were created by the so-called malicious programs on the computer. “Richard” told Mike that he had nothing to worry about, the tech department could easily sort this out for him and if the problem persisted, it would be free. On the other hand, if the solution was successful and Mike was happy, he could pay a yearly fee of just £112 to stay protected. Then Mike was given a URL address to access and download a file required to use the service.

Once the scammer completed his instructions, Mike revealed himself. As a response he was transferred to a so-called senior manager, who began to question his expertise and rapidly disconnected the call.

For more information on these calls read the Guardian’s articles - #1 and #2 - or listen to a real conversation in the following video:

Please be aware, share this information and don’t fall victim of this despicable trick.

About the Author:       
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.