We can’t know for sure exactly when the first scam call was made claiming to be Microsoft on the phone, but it has certainly been around for the past 5 years. And this scam is still doing the rounds and still catches people out.
“Good afternoon Mr Smith, I am calling from Microsoft because your computer has been infected with a virus. Are you next to your computer?”
Now the scammers may take various routes after this, “showing” you the viruses by getting you to click on areas you wouldn’t normally visit, asking you to let them remote connect to your machine or getting you to visit a webpage and download some software. Whatever route they take it all seems plausible which is why so many people are still caught out.
So what should you do if this has happened to you and you’ve fallen foul to the scam? Firstly, don’t feel bad about it, as you are far from alone. Secondly, do not ignore it and hope for it to go away – if “Microsoft” or any other “technical” company has called you and you have granted them access to your computer, either remotely or through downloading something, they will be able to gain access to all of your personal data.
Changing your passwords is your first step, along with informing your bank. If you have an anti virus installed and are aware how to, run a thorough scan. Should the worst have happened, tell the police as well as you may require an incident number for insurance purposes.
If you are in any doubt as to whether you have let someone access your machine when you shouldn’t have then please feel free to get in touch with us for a chat – and if you know that you would never fall victim to a scam like this, please ensure that you tell others who may be more vulnerable so we can try and stop it happening to anyone else.