"We've had a report from your internet service provider of serious virus problems from your computer."You might be instructed to go immediately to the computer so the crisis can be resolved. In fact, you have been targeted by international organized crime.
But, relax. As long as you do nothing, hang up and refuse to follow instructions of an uninvited stranger, you and your computer should be safe.
My home has been a frequent recipient of these calls for weeks. Worldwide campaigns originating from Indian call centres pretend to represent Microsoft or some Windows security effort. These fraud artists work from lists of names and numbers and ask for a particular person, by name, and that gives a hint of authenticity. You might be asked to open the Windows "Event Viewer," a standard logging and diagnostic tool that provides reports likely to appear urgent to the uninitiated.
Various tactics are employed but generally the computer user is guided to install a downloaded program "to correct the problem." A service or subscription fee is eventually demanded and there are reports of users being locked out of their own machines until an extravagant fee is paid. Inexperienced and elderly computer users are favoured targets.
The authentic Seattle based Windows provider says,
"Microsoft does not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer. If you receive an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft Tech Support, hang up. We do not make these kinds of calls."PC Magazine, PC World, CNET and others that have been long time participants in the computer world. Even if I download a recommended program, I ensure it comes from a trustworthy source that I go to directly, without using links from third parties.
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