A man with an Indian accent called my home -office number this past weekend claiming to work for Microsoft. My wife handed the phone to me because she could not tell if the guy was selling something, trying to con us, or really was from Microsoft tech support.
He asked me if I had access to my computer and told me to run a Windows diagnostic report from Control Panel. He asked how many errors it showed. Since I bought this computer in February 2013, the report had logged 18,000 errors, I told him. “Ooh,” he said, sounding genuinely concerned, “that’s a lot he said. Your computer is at great risk.”
He asked me to write down a long license code and I did. He told me to run a command-line prompt to get a license code from my computer. (A command line can be executed from a DOS prompt and displays a pre-Windows operating system interface for the Microsoft operating system.) I ran that command and saw the license code he referenced. "I would not have that license code unless I was from Microsoft tech support," he said.
My wife and were supposed to be at my niece’s wedding in 20 minutes. So I did not have time to learn exactly what kind of racket this felonious dirtball was running, but he was definitely criminally malicious. And he was slick.
He gave me an 800 number to call him back on and his extension, along with his first name. This really is a great twist but obviously is easy to pull off in an era when email addresses and phone numbers are fungible.
I went along with him and know enough to not trust him, but I have to admit that I was not absolutely, positively certain he was a running a scam. Only later, after I googled, “phony tech support phone calls from Microsoft
,” did I learn definitively that it was indeed a scam.
Point is, if a stranger with an Indian accent calls from Microsoft tech support saying your computer has been compromised and is at great risk, it’s a scam.
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