False calls from Microsoft cause trouble

Alleged Microsoft technical support staff try to gain access to other people’s computers over the phone. Consumer protectionists advise that it is best to simply hang up.

What sounds like a good service at first is actually a nasty scam: a supposed Microsoft employee calls and warns that your PC is infected with a virus. Then, among other things, they redirect you to infected websites. The Rhineland-Palatinate consumer center already warned against such fake Microsoft support at the beginning of 2021. But now the calls are increasing again, as atechbook itself has experienced.

False Microsoft support is a well-known scam

The fake support employees often speak English or broken German and tried to get their victims to perform certain steps on the PC over the phone. Under no circumstances should personal data be revealed. Also, you should not purchase or even install any third-party software.

As mentioned, the scam is not new, but the number of fake calls is increasing again. Among other things, users report that they should enter the command “assoc”, supposedly to prove the problem. A long sequence of numbers and digits then appears, supposedly for verification: {888DCA60-FC0A-11CF-8F0F-00C04FD7D062}. The number has been identical in all reports so far, so it is not used for verification.

What makes the calls from the fake Microsoft support so annoying is the ever-changing phone number. The scammers change their phone number regularly, so call blocks in the router or phone don’t take effect.

Another Microsoft scam is a fake warning notice. These would look like a security warning from Windows itself. Users would then be asked to contact Microsoft support to fix an existing problem. Alleged Microsoft engineers then offer a software maintenance package for several hundred euros. These warnings are said to appear frequently while surfing the Internet and block the entire screen.

What can those affected do?

If you receive such calls from the fake Microsoft support, it is best to hang up and not get involved in a conversation under any circumstances. Call blocking makes little sense due to the changing phone number, but you should still report the calls. The Federal Network Agency has made a form available on the Internet for such cases. It has been increasingly investigating such complaints in the recent past.

For example, one consumer reported calls from five different phone numbers in one day to fix an alleged problem on his PC. If one of the warnings appears, shut down your computer and restart it.

If you did respond to the fake calls from Microsoft support, you should shut down your computer immediately and disconnect it from the Internet and power. In addition, it is advisable to report the scam to the police, the experts advise. Microsoft also offers a form to report fraud attempts. A computer specialist should then check the computer for malware. Those affected are also advised to change all passwords and access data for e-mail accounts, online banking, online stores, etc. to be on the safe side.