One of our good friends on the island reported to us today that she had received a telephone call this morning supposedly from Microsoft Technical Support telling her that her computer / ip address had problems with pop ups and that they needed to fix this issue for her.
This is not a new scam and has been going around in various forms and versions for some years but it’s worth a mention here just as a reminder of what these scammers do when they call.
On this occasion the scammer was a female and said she was calling from Microsoft’s Licensing Department based at Manchester Business Park. The scammers always claim to be from one Microsoft department or another so be on your guard for this right from the start.
The scammers aim is to take control of your computer and to steal private information or to lock your computer and then ransom you to unlock it or to plant a virus or key stroke logger and to do this they ask you to go into the MS DOS prompt and to type in ASSOC, once you have done this it brings up a range of numbers on the screen starting with 88DCA and ending in 7D062. The scammer will then tell you that you have this number on the screen without any prompting from you and they will tell you this is the serial number of your computer as a way of proving to you that they are genuinely from Microsoft. The truth is that this number is not the serial number of your computer, these are CLSID numbers and they are the same on every Windows 7 machine.
They may ask you to visit a website to download software, they may ask you to run a report on your computer that shows errors and they may ask you to go into msconfig and to look at which programs are turned off and on, don’t do any of these things.
If you receive a call like this do not enter any details on your computer and do not tell the scammers anything about yourself.
Ask the scammer for their name and direct telephone number, the chances are they will either not give it to you or they will hang up. Ask them to put you through to a supervisor or to provide some proof they are from Microsoft, it is very likely they will either give you some made up details or will just hang up anyway. If they do give you any details make a note of them so that you can pass them on to Microsoft.
To report any suspected scam directly to Microsoft you can visit this page on the official Microsoft website https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/contactus then click on ‘Report A Support Scam’ at the bottom of the page.
Please share this info to help your friends family and colleagues to stay safe online.