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What's the deal with Microsoft technical support cold callers?

(25 Posts)
Ironfloor Mon 08-Jun-15 13:16:49

Since last week or so, I've been getting calls from the 'Microsoft technical support centre' saying that they are getting messages about my computer being vulnerable to viruses or some such thing. And the caller (always a female voice) asks me to turn my computer on and that she will guide me to find the error programmes (probably not the exact words, but hope you get the gist) and how to delete them. Obviously, I refuse to do so but I tell them I'll write down the instructions and do it later. They never let me do this. They always say that it has to be done there and then and if now is not a good time, they'll call me later. Once I got so angry I called them scammers and the girl was shocked and said 'oh my god'.

What do you think? Are they genuine? I just want them to stop calling me but no amount of telling seems to work.

seaoflove Mon 08-Jun-15 13:17:18

It's a scam.

Lagoonablue Mon 08-Jun-15 13:17:55

Defo a scam. Ignore them.

Madratlady Mon 08-Jun-15 13:18:37

It's a scam, Microsoft do not monitor people's computers.

Mogz Mon 08-Jun-15 13:20:04

its a scam to get malware on to your pc, and possibly get your card details too. Best just to hang up.

sparkysparkysparky Mon 08-Jun-15 13:21:36

It's a scam. Tell everyone you know that it's a scam.

CharlieAustinsMagicHat Mon 08-Jun-15 13:24:07

As others have said it's a well known scam, you can have tremendous fun stringing them along though.

ihavenonameonhere Mon 08-Jun-15 13:25:02

Yes they try and get you to let them on to your computer remotely.

I kept some going for 30 mins

Shakey1500 Mon 08-Jun-15 13:25:19

Tell them you actually work for Microsoft or are an advanced security technician (or similar blurb), tell them you are legally obliged to inform them you're recording this call and do they wish to continue?

LurkingHusband Mon 08-Jun-15 13:25:26

Also, the longer you string them along, the less time they have to scam more vulnerable people.

jammiecat Mon 08-Jun-15 13:26:33

It's a scam. My Aunt almost got caught out by this. Took her through the process. Uncovered a 'virus' and then offered to sell her something to fix it. She was about to hand over her credit card details when she realised it was probably not genuine luckily although they did get her to put malware on her PC before she ended the call.

WayneRooneysHair Mon 08-Jun-15 13:29:11

It's a scan, tell them you use a Mac or a Linux based machine, they can't hang up quick enough.

FenellaFellorick Mon 08-Jun-15 13:29:40

It's a scam.

We've started getting lots of scam calls (not sure how our number has been circulated but clearly it has - I am registered with tps etc but they can do bugger all about overseas calls) so I bought a new phone

this one

If a number isn't on my approved list, the caller has to say who they are, then my phone will play that to me and I can choose whether to take the call or not. If I reject it, that number goes on the blocked list and if they call again, they get told they are blocked and to put the phone down.

It's brilliant.

U2TheEdge Mon 08-Jun-15 13:29:45

I love stringing them along.

Last time I asked them how they knew I had a windows computer and he told me that it was on his computer system. I asked him how many I had and he took a guess.

I then told him that I actually only have macs. He hung up on me.

My mum nearly got caught out on this one though. She had just got her first computer and called me to say that while she was at work she got this call and they were going to call her again when she got home. She said she didn't even realise she had a virus but it was ok, they were going to help her fix it for free. Thank god she called me first.

why1989 Mon 08-Jun-15 13:32:08

This was on TV a few weeks ago! It's definitely a scam!

WinterOfOurDiscountTents15 Mon 08-Jun-15 13:32:48

Of course they aren't genuine! How could they possibly be? Just hang up as soon as they say who they are, they get the message.

DisappointedOne Mon 08-Jun-15 13:34:01

I love love love the microsoft scammers. I've managed to string them along for over 40 minutes before - and I use a mac! grin

IssyStark Mon 08-Jun-15 13:35:41

As others have said, it is a scam. If you have the time, keep them on the phone for as long as possible, pretend to turn on the computer, pretend not to be ale to find the things they ask you to do etc etc. The longer they talk to you, the less time they have to scam the less aware.

My other half is a computer scientist and see these calls as a challenge. I think his longest was over 40 minutes. He then doesn't hold back in telling them exactly what he thinks of them and their criminal ways before hanging up (or more often, before they hang up!)

CloserToFiftyThanTwenty Mon 08-Jun-15 13:36:28

I know people who have got caught out by this too sad

Makes me so cross!

baaaabaaaaabaaaa Mon 08-Jun-15 13:36:55

Play dumb when they mention the words Microsoft windows and pretend you think they are selling you double glazing.

"no thanks we are fully double glazed thank you"

Become a dotty little old lady - they will soon give up.

Or - tell them they must have made mistake as you do not have a computer or wifi in the house.

suitsyousir Mon 08-Jun-15 13:41:20

I had one of these last week. I told him it was a scam and to fuck off before hanging up. The call was from a male who had an Asian accent and spoke por English. For the next 30 minutes or so I got a phone call every minute or so from the same male swearing at me and suggesting that I perform certain acts on my daughter and mother before putting the phone down on me. Luckily I am very thick skinned and could see this for what it was, so left my phone off the hook for an hour or so. Touch wood we have not had anymore of these. If we do, we will just start unplugging our landline as we rarely use it anyway.

May I suggest politely telling them that everything is fine and hanging up. Dont do what I did!

ratspeaker Mon 08-Jun-15 13:42:13

Scam. Just google it you will get lots of hits.

Think about it, have you ever given microsoft your telephone number?

Mostly what they do is take you through a script, convince you there is something on your pc that shouldn't be there and charge you to fix it.
Again think about it, microsoft do free updates.

Worse ones are when they get remote access to your pc and can install malware. Never give anyone remote access .

Some of the callers can be quite rude if you dont do as they say.
Best thing is to say you dont have a computer.

Stubbed Mon 08-Jun-15 13:48:03

Just tell them you don't have a computer

tabulahrasa Mon 08-Jun-15 13:50:25

The quickest and easiest way to get them off the phone is to tell them you don't have anything running windows. That way they get off the line without hassling you...and they can be quite rude.

If you're bored however and don't mind if they go off script, you can try telling them you have a dynamic IP address, then explaining to them how that works so they couldn't possibly have traced you, that usually ends in them hanging up on you after getting all offended by you accusing them of being con artists.

Or pretend to go into the files they tell you to and deny point blank that what they're saying is there actually exists (it will be there and is perfectly normal, not an issue at all). That makes them quite angry.

Or my favourite is to ask which computer, they reply the closest to the modem, so you have to measure the distance of imaginary computers so you can work out which is closest...till you get bored, the hang up and if they phone back pretend you were cut off and start again because you didn't write them down...

Ironfloor Mon 08-Jun-15 14:07:26

Oh this is great. Thanks so much for your replies. I love stringing them along, too. The number of calls seems to have increased in frequency of late, which is why I thought I'd ask you all about how to handle it.

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