Feeds

Microsoft warns on support scams

Thousands still falling for old-school tech support swindle

The essential guide to IT transformation

A survey from Microsoft reveals just how widespread the fake tech support call scam is becoming.

The crooks cold-call people at home and claim to be calling from Microsoft or a well-known security firm and offering "free security checks".

The software giant surveyed 7,000 computer users in the UK, Ireland, US and Canada and found an average of 16 per cent of people had received such calls. In Ireland this rose to a staggering 26 per cent.

More than a fifth of those who received such a call, or 3 per cent of the total surveyed, were tricked into following the crooks instructions which ranged from allowing remote access of their machines, downloading dodgy code or in some cases giving credit card information in order to make purchases.

Microsoft said if someone claiming to be from Windows or Microsoft Tech Support calls you: "Do not purchase any software or services. Ask if there is a fee or subscription associated with the 'service'. If there is, hang up."

Redmond said 79 per cent of those tricked suffered financial loss – the average loss was $875 (£542). Losses ranged from just $82 (£51) in Ireland to a whopping $1,560 (£967) in Canada.

Microsoft warned that while the gangs were currently targeting English-speaking countries it was just a matter of time before they go after other countries.

The company advised anyone who had already fallen for such a scam to change their passwords, scan their machines for malware and contact their bank and credit card providers.

More on Microsoft tech support scams here. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.