Yesterday, I posted about my rotten morning due to the phone call from fake Microsoft technical support. I did not solicit their help and should have known better but was not fully awake yet when passed the phone from my dad who had initially picked up and answered. Well, whilst I did not give them any financial information I did let them gain access to my computer by allowing them to “help” me remotely. Of course this was not very wise and I fretted after I hung up the phone about the consequences.
I spent all day yesterday trying to scan my computer to figure out what the scammers might have done to my computer. My expensive Norton 360 Premier edition did NOT pick up ANYTHING after I was off the phone with scammers. Fortunately a friend of mine directed me to Microsoft’s REAL support page for help dealing with scammers claiming to be them. It had Microsoft security software I was able to download for FREE which found I had a TROJAN virus on my computer. Norton 360 missed that!! So I am really grateful Microsoft’s FREE software helped me. If my friend had not directed me to that support page I doubt I’d have thought of downloading any free security software. But this was a trusted friend and I knew she would not knowingly point me to a fake site.
If any of you get a phone call from Microsoft telling you have an infected computer do not listen to them! Unless you actually solicited their help it is just inviting threats to your computer to let these scammers have access in any manner to your computer. I believe I am okay now and feel grateful but it also taught me to think twice before accepting what someone is saying on the other end of the phone line. Because it was early and I had not had my breakfast or coffee I was not fully alert so I would like to think I’d have had more sense had I been more alert but who knows.
The takeaway message is to be safe and not give unsolicited technical support people access to anything personal. The trojan virus they put on my computer was a tracking virus so I believe that means they could track where I went on the internet and phish my personal information (mainly financial). I never gave them any financial information but I know there are people who do any get taken for whatever they have. It’s not pretty.
Take care and be safe!
- Computer virus scam back with a vengeance (globalnews.ca)
- How to avoid becoming a phone scam victim (avast.com)
- Thousands falling for Microsoft scam (newsnet5.com)
- Beware of a phony Microsoft scam (wxyz.com)