“We’re with Windows” (not) – anatomy of a cold calling scam

“We’re with Windows” (not) – anatomy of a cold calling scam

When it comes to scams, if there’s one point I try to make to my students, and to others, is that if you aren’t expecting a phone call, an e-mail, a text message, from some online entity or service, then you just have to presume it’s a possible scam.  In this case, Microsoft just doesn’t work this way.  MS would never call you about a problem with your computer.  It always works the other way around – you call, e-mail, or initiate a chat with MS tech support to get help from them.

Yet, there still are people that will fall for this kind of scam.  Don’t be one of those people.  If you get a call as described in this article, just hang up!!  As described in a link from this article, one tech security expert tried to play along with the scammer, and eventually downloaded their software to try to “get back” at them.  By then, it was too late, and they used what looked like a standard MS-related utility to delete all his files.  I know he did it for the sake of learning more about the scam and exposing it, but you just cannot trust the scammer, and so the best way to avoid any such issues is to not continue any kind of communication with them at all.

If they persist in calling, then perhaps you should contact MS or the Federal Trade Commission.  It’s more likely that after you hang up on them a few times, they’ll move along to another potential victim.