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Microsoft Security

How to combat tech support phone scams

  • Eve Blakemore

(Note: Our Tech support scams FAQ page has the latest info on this type of threat, including scammer tactics, fake error messages, and the latest scammer hotlines. You can also read our latest blog, Teaming up in the war on tech support scams.)

Nana writes:

“I received a telephone call at home from a person claiming to be from “Microsoft Operating Systems.” He had an urgent need to “fix” a virus. I had trouble understanding him, and when I starting asking questions, he got frustrated. Was this person calling from Microsoft?”

This person was not calling from Microsoft. Microsoft will not make unsolicited phone calls about computer security or software fixes. If you receive a call like this one, it’s a scam and all you need to do is hang up.

If you’ve already given your computer access to someone who called and claimed to be from Microsoft tech support, do the following:

  • Reset your computer’s password. Learn how to change your Windows 8 password. If you’re not using Windows 8, Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete, and then click Change a password. Make sure it’s a strong password.
  • Scan your computer with the Microsoft Safety Scanner to find out if you have malware installed on your computer.
  • Make sure you’re using antivirus software. Windows 8 includes antivirus protection that’s turned on by default. If your computer isn’t running Windows 8, download Microsoft Security Essentials for free. Note that Microsoft Security Essentials is a free program. If someone calls you to install this product and then charges you for it, this is also a scam.

If you gave someone your credit card information to pay for services, contact your credit card company and alert them to this fraudulent purchase.

More information about how to avoid tech support phone scams.