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Warning: Rip off by alleged Microsoft employees

Rip off on the PC by alleged Microsoft support: This is how the scammers proceed

Beware of alleged Microsoft technical support staff! For years there have been reports and complaints about fraudsters who claim on the phone that your computer is allegedly infected with viruses. Since Microsoft ended support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020, the fraudsters on the phone have also been claiming the operating system Protect damage or when switching to newer Windows versions wanting to help. The fraudsters are always coming up with new scams and their sender number and the caller are constantly changing. With flimsy justifications, some even want to persuade their victims to purchase prepaid credit for online platforms and pass the codes on to the callers.

The callers often speak English or broken German. The fake support staff try to persuade their victims over the phone to take certain steps on the PC under their guidance. In addition to the fake calls, fraudsters are now making increasing use of it Emails, infected websites and Pop-ups.

Some consumers report that they were asked to Command 'assoc' to prove the alleged computer problem. The tool that then appears shows, among other things, the Line {888DCA60-FC0A-11CF-8F0F-00C04FD7D062} which the alleged Microsoft employee passes on by phone for verification. But watch out: because this is identical on all systems, this is not the computer ID. The sender numbers are always different and not real for the calls.

Fake warnings on the PC

There are also more and more complaints at consumer advice centers about fake warnings on the PC. They look like a security warning from Windows. Here you will be asked to call the alleged Microsoft support to get your Free computers from viruses allow. Alleged "Microsoft engineers" then want to convince you to pay up to 400 euros for a software maintenance package against viruses and to give you remote access to your computer.

The information texts often appear when surfing the Internet and block the entire screen. Presumably, they are triggered as advertisements on websites, by code on less reputable websites or by installed apps. Ultimately, however, they are comparable to penetrating advertisements.

Tech Support Scam

But what initially sounds like good service is actually one Scamcalled "Tech Support Scam". If you install a program with which the fraudsters can then access your computer remotely, it can be one Trojans or others Malware act. This enables the fake Microsoft employees to spy out sensitive data - such as passwords for online banking -, lock their computers and then demand money in order to unlock the computer again.

If you give the alleged Microsoft employees remote maintenance access to your allegedly infected computer during the phone call, the fraudsters can also view your credit card details if you use them to pay directly online for the additional software package.

Microsoft warns of Tech Support Scam

Microsoft itself has also issued a warning since the first cases of fraud involving the misuse of the company name on its homepage. The company offers tips for those affected as well as a form to report attempted fraud. According to their own information, in a 2017 Microsoft survey, two thirds of all respondents worldwide said they had had experience with the scam in the past twelve months. Since the calls often come from foreign or other non-traceable numbers, the masterminds can hardly be identified.

How To Protect Yourself From Tech Support Scam

  • Microsoft sends according to its own information no unsolicited e-mails to them. Also, no employees request personal or financial data by phone call or a security notice on the PC. Do you receive a call from a supposed support employee, end the conversation as soon as possible! Do not react to suspected warnings that appear on the browser screen or to e-mails, and do not download any attachments.
  • Under no circumstances should you give out your private data.
  • Do not purchase or install third-party software on your computer, tablet or smartphone while you are on the phone.
  • If you have already spoken to an alleged support person and let him work on your PC, it is possible that malware has been installed on your computer. Then disconnect your PC from the Internet and have it checked by an expert. Then change all passwords and access data - especially your access to e-mail accounts, online banking and online shops.
  • Don't be confused by threats that callers will delete your version of Windows if you don't install the program.
  • Are you concerned report the fraud to the police. This can be done, for example, at the internet station in your state. In addition, Microsoft offers a form to report attempted fraud.
  • If you reacted correctly and you have not fallen for a scam, it can help if you report the phone number of the caller anyway. It is also worth reporting to the police about attempted fraud.

Searched Indian call centers in May 2016

Investigators from Germany have taken action against fraudulent call centers in India. The Lower Saxony public prosecutor's offices report that public prosecutors and the State Criminal Police Office (LKA) have traced the trail of many calls to the country and carried out a search there with Indian colleagues. Seven people are now in custody and several call centers are out of order. The criminal charges in Germany have since declined noticeably. As of September 2016, investigators know of more than 7,500 victims in Germany. The number of unreported cases probably includes "a large number of other victims".

Old mesh reissued

The scam in itself is not new: Since 2014, consumers have been receiving calls from fake Microsoft employees warning that their computer is infected with malware. After the rip-off calls from the supposed support staff had calmed down for some time, the consumer advice centers are currently receiving more and more complaints.

Beware of these companies

In connection with fake warnings on the PC, the following alleged companies have appeared in the early warning network of the consumer advice centers:

Advanced System Repair, App Informatique Services, Best Ech / Global Technologies, Cyprus IT Tech, Digi Micro Service Ltd, Expert 24, Global Collect, Globel Technologies, GNR Management Services, Harvin Techno Ltd, IHI Solutions PVT Ltd, Mac Makers, PC Fix 911, PC Wind Services, Safecart, Tech Cure, Technical Support, Tet PC Guard, TetPCSecurity, Trustly Group, Windows Technik Tool Free.

This content was created by the joint editorial team in cooperation with the consumer centers North Rhine-Westphalia, Schleswig-Holstein and Rhineland-Palatinate for the network of consumer centers in Germany.