Yet again there is a scam going around where you receive a phone call purportedly from Microsoft or some other official sounding Windows related business. Microsoft will not call you to tell you that you have a problem with your computer. Ever. It is a scam.
This is not a new scam but it must be paying off for the scammers as they keep doing it. The scam goes like this, the scammers call you and tell you they have found something wrong with your computer. T prove this they will ask you to open up the Administrative Tools and Event Viewer and in the event logs they will point at events in the log and try to tell you that the events are due to a virus. They are not. If your computer has an anti-virus package (you have one of those right?) it is the only thing that can tell you that you have a virus.
At this point they will then try to talk you into installing a program that lets them access your computer and once you let them in they will infect your computer with malware and bill you for the “service”.
Remember, Microsoft or other tech service companies will never call you and tell you that you have a virus or “problem” with your computer. If you suspect that someone is calling you to scam you hang up on them. Never let a complete stranger access your computer.
Amusingly one of these scammers called here and my wife answered the call. She has some sense and I had warned her about this scam so when it happened she realized it immediately. She chose to not hang up but have some fun with them so she slid over to one of our Linux computers and acted a bit naively and messed with the scammer for about an hour. When he asked what version of Windows she was using she said “puppy” because that system is running Puppy Linux. Then they asked her to go to the start menu, and of course there is no “Start Menu” and she asked them “applications?” The caller, “no start menu”… Apparently he ended up quite mad and frustrated with her and hung up.
If you chose to do this be careful. I also got a scammer calling me and I played with them for a while and I ended up getting a death threat emailed to me so caution, please. We don’t think there was ever any real danger of them attacking me but be safe. These are phone scammers, but they are also criminals and they can get ugly fast. A lot of online crime is now organized crime, where there is a buck to be made by criminals organized crime will surely true to get that buck.
Stay safe out there and if you would like to know more about viruses, malware, online scams, Linux or anything else computer related post a question in the comments. Also press Like and subscribe please.