Have you ever received a phone call from someone claiming they’re calling you from Microsoft or any other well know company? Unfortunately, we’re seeing more and more cases of this phone scam coming through our door and it doesn’t look like it’s going to end any time soon. In some cases your computer might get a virus installed on it which will then trigger it to stop working. Here are some points on how to recognise a phone scam and what to do if you receive one of these calls.
The nature of a phone scam
The most common current phone scam is for an operator to call you claiming they’re calling from Microsoft. They then proceed to tell you that your computer is infected and they need a remote access to your computer to clean it. You will then be asked for your credit card number as this service is not free. At the end of the day you will have given your computer access and a credit card number to a third party with no intention of giving you a service in return.
How to act when you get a call
If you get a call from someone claiming to call from a big company:
- Ask for their contact details and tell them you’re going to call back. If you’re not competent to talk about computer matters ask a member of a family to check the number for you.
- If the caller asks for your credit card number during the call, take down their number, hang up and report the number to your local authority
- Never provide remote access or your credit credit card information to a representative calling you on the phone
- If in any case in doubt – hang up
What to do if you have fallen victim to the scam
- Change all passwords: your computer, email & most importantly online banking. You might want to use another computer to do most of these
- Scan your computer for viruses & malware
- Check the last received call & report the number to your local Gardai
You can get more information on the nature of these calls on the Microsoft Website. If you cannot access your computer after you’ve received a scam call you can contact our workshop on 01 4949556 or pop over for us to check it out for you.
Please make sure that especially the senior members of your family are aware of this. As we’ve said before – this problem is on the rise and we get to talk about it several times during the day.