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Don't let cold-calling fraudsters get at your cash

Tuesday, April 15, 2014   by: Staff



Cold Call Phone Scam

The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service has received several complaints regarding a ‘Microsoft Support’ phone scam.

The caller will claim to be from Microsoft Support, and tell you that they have received a message indicating you’re computer has been compromised.

Cybercriminals often use publicly available phone directories so they might know your name and other personal information when they call you.

They might even guess what operating system you're using.

Once they've gained your trust, they might offer to help solve your computer problems or sell you a software license. 

They may ask for your user name and password or ask you to go to a website to install software that will let them access your computer to fix it.

Once you do this, your computer and your personal information is vulnerable.

Once they have access to your computer, they can do the following:

- Trick you into installing malicious software that could capture sensitive data, such as online banking user names and passwords. They might also then charge you to remove this software.

- Take control of your computer remotely and adjust settings to leave your computer vulnerable.

- Request credit card information so they can bill you for phony services.

- Direct you to fraudulent websites and ask you to enter credit card and other personal or financial information there.

 Microsoft does not make unsolicited phone calls (also known as cold calls) to charge you for computer security or software fixes.

Do not trust unsolicited calls and do not provide any personal information.

Here are some of the organizations that cybercriminals claim to be from:

- Windows Helpdesk

- Windows Service Center

- Microsoft Tech Support

- Microsoft Support

- Windows Technical Department Support Group

- Microsoft Research and Development Team (Microsoft R & D Team)

Protect yourself from telephone tech support scams.

- Do not purchase any software or services.

- Ask if there is a fee or subscription associated with the "service." If there is, hang up.

- Never give control of your computer to a third party unless you can confirm that it is a legitimate representative of a computer support team with whom you are already a customer.

- Never provide your credit card or financial information to someone claiming to be from Microsoft tech support.

If you think that you might have downloaded malware from a phone tech support scam website or allowed a cybercriminal to access your computer, take these steps:

- Change your computer's password, change the password on your main email account, and change the password for any financial accounts, especially your bank and credit card.

- Scan your computer with the Microsoft Safety Scanner to find out if you have malware installed on your computer.


Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
pony 4/15/2014 6:50:55 PM Report

My wife played with one of these fraudsters. She asked him right away if she should just give him her credit card number. He knew he was busted and started swearing at her. He was quite nasty. If you don't request assistance, you don't need it!
scottstewy123 4/15/2014 6:55:30 PM Report

I have gotten a lot of those cals they keep calling. ! time when asking questions the guy told me to shut up. and was quite rude. I called the OPP phone busters about them they are from the Philipines. Now when ever they call I play with them make them waste there own time.
ThinkAgain 4/15/2014 7:05:20 PM Report

If its long distance I simply don't answer the phone anymore. From Scams, Political fundraisers & Telemarketers - my phone constantly rings.
freeatlast45 4/15/2014 7:53:05 PM Report

I just ask them if they have thought about pre-planning their funeral yet, and tell them there are 87 decisions you have to make when someone dies! That usually has them hanging up in a hurry!
mallet 4/15/2014 9:12:38 PM Report

I had one of these people call me today, told me his name was Ivan and was calling from Microsoft Support. I regret I was a little P'd off because they or someone similar had called the saurday while I was watching soccer, I told them to F off and I was going to star 69 their number and send some Libyan friends of mine to settle the matter ... permanently... they rang off very quickly!!
Pictureman 4/15/2014 9:21:03 PM Report

I like to play along with them, give them no real info that they are looking for, play the old "Gee I don't see that on my screen." Can you go through the steps one more time please ? Eventually they will ask what version of Windows I am running. The silence is golden, followed by a few expletives and the click of the call being ended when I say. "Windows, of yes I forgot I just bought a Mac a week ago." Works and I have never been called again.
James O'Brien 4/15/2014 9:36:55 PM Report

After 5 minutes tonight my wife had him talking to our dogs on the phone. The guy just wouldn't hang up no matter what! So we did.
TheBGuy 4/15/2014 10:02:14 PM Report

One of the reps from a call center in India made the "mistake" of leaving their 800 number on an answering machine belonging to a customer of mine. She had fun calling back and blackmailing the supervisor who very promptly cleaned off her machine no questions-asked.

This supervisor seemed a bit "ticked" that someone from the outside had their number. Go figure!
kamen 4/15/2014 10:23:44 PM Report

I got a call today from a 905's weird...I don't know anyone with that area code in their number....I didn't even answer's getting out of hand the amount of scammers out there...
soowat 4/16/2014 6:37:11 AM Report

The following website is quite good

It is run by the RCMP
CherRN 4/16/2014 7:23:59 AM Report

Had to laugh when they called here... my response?? UM NO, I DON'T RUN ANY MICROSOFT programs, I HAVE A MAC... :P
ShawnM 4/16/2014 8:49:49 AM Report

Another one they sometimes claim to be from is Cisco. Cisco would not contact end users, they would not have your information and would have no reason to.

One of my co works recorded the call from one of these guys claiming to be from Microsoft, it was funny because he played with them pretending he had probably done something wrong on his wife's computer... and that she would kill him if she found out...

If you ask them straight up when they call about them being from Microsoft, they will then change their story and tell you they never said they are from Microsoft but that they are representatives who are Microsoft partners or certified...
Bad Dawg 4/16/2014 9:49:40 AM Report

I have been playing with them for years, as it keeps me entertained on my days off... from free trips to credit card debt (I do not have a credit card) I try to get them off topic to waste as much time as possible. There is so much fun, from talking like a pirate, cursing and talking really slow..... it is quite the show when I have company too.
bulletcards 4/16/2014 1:11:53 PM Report

messing with them is very entertaining. glad there are many who share the same view as me. doesn't matter if it's a scammer, survey or telemarketer i answer the phone. and I play with them. doing my best celebrity impressions, making them do impressions by telling them i will do whatever they want if i like the impression (then say no i didn't like it), playing dumb and pretending i don't understand anything, giving fake numbers/passwords, putting on some music or the tv and placing the phone by the speaker. by doing this i have effectivly eliminated all of these types of calls from any phone numbers I have had in under a year.

Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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