Be warned: Microsoft scam resurfaces

HIGHWAY residents are urged to be aware of an age-old scam that has resurfaced in the area. The scamsters act under the guise of a Microsoft employee and claim that there is a problem with Windows on the resident’s PC.

Cowies Hill resident, Gregor Woods, said he received eight calls on his landline over the duration of 10 days all pertaining to this scam.

“If you let the speaker continue, they tell you that Microsoft is investigating a problem with Windows. You are then asked to sit at your computer so that you can answer a few questions. If you ask how you can be sure that they are legitimate, they tell you they can quote you your computer licence number,” said Woods.

Private investigator, Rick Crouch, said, “These are definitely scams. The point behind the scam is to get you to install remote access software on your computer and allow the caller remote access to your computer. The pretext would be that they need remote access to your computer that will enable them to “clean” your computer of a virus or something similar.

There are a number of things they can do if given remote access to your computer, not the least of which would be to remotely install a keylogger on your computer which will send them every keystroke that you type.

The worst case scenario would be that they install a RAT (Remote Access Terminal) on your computer. This will give them unfettered access to your computer at any time without your knowledge. With a RAT it would be as if they were sitting in front of your computer.

They can copy files to and from your computer, turn on and off your camera and microphone monitor your keystrokes which would give them any passwords, what is on your computer screen would be mirrored on theirs.

Microsoft will never call you about your computer. If anyone calls saying that they are from Microsoft my advice is to not engage in any conversation, not even to tell them that you know it is a scam, but to immediately hang up the phone.”



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Lloyd Mackenzie

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