“Microsoft tech-support virus scam”

One downside to home-working (I’m in my home office three days a week), is that you realise just how often your home phone rings during the day.

I try to ignore it, knowing that it’s very likely to be a cold caller, but there’s always a concern it’s actually important; perhaps the kids’ school, a delivery I’ve been waiting on, or a family member.

I’m usually quick to filter out the cold callers and simply hang-up. However yesterday’s call caught my attention. It was from Microsoft and they were kindly calling to inform me that my PC had a virus.

Of course, I knew it was a scam. I’ve read the stories about this practice; “We are Windows tech-support, you have a virus, let me show you, Now I’ll have an engineer fix the issue, but it’ll cost £200 for the anti-virus software”. 

But I was intrigued. This scam has been going on for years, so it’s obvioulsy “profitable” for someone. As a form of social engineering I wanted to see how they did it; and so I played a long for a couple of minutes.

Here’s the audio. I missed the start of the call, and if you want to read the full process these scammer go through (including remote-control of your PC and Paypal access) then read this.



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