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2012 Update to the ‘Microsoft’ phone scam call about a virus



It has been a couple of years since I wrote my original article on the phone scam calls from companies claiming to be Microsoft.  The response to the article has been phenomenal, to date over 60,000 people have read the page, over 250 have commented on it and over 2,000 people have Liked it on Facebook, not to mention the other social media networks that have picked it up.

It’s now mid-2012 and I had hoped that by now this kind of thing would be dying off, but the truth appears to be the complete opposite.  This scam is more prevalent now than ever before.

Here is my original post on the ‘Microsoft’ virus phone call scam in case you have not read it.  At the bottom of this post there is a link to some of the most common Questions and Answers about the phone scam and a virus / malware removal guide.

What I want to do in this post is summarise how the scam seems to have evolved and spread, based on the comments you have generously left.

Where the phone scam is currently active

While we had heard of this being a growing scam in the UK and Ireland, it is also affecting homes all across the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands (Holland), Denmark, Norway, Spain, South Africa, Switzerland, Singapore and Zimbabwe!  And these are just the countries where someone has been kind enough to leave me a comment and let me know about their experience.

How the phone scam works

The general way the phone scam works hasn’t really changed.  The caller will usually ask for the main bill payer of the household by name.

They will know your address (quite often because they are just reading entries out of your country’s Phone Book).

They will either claim to be Microsoft or a company working on behalf of Microsoft, or sometimes they don’t even bother and they just say they are a Technical Support company, or they will mention recognisable key words like Windows or Operating System.

Important: Microsoft will not call you directly about anything like this.  Although your copy of Windows should be registered with Microsoft, they normally do not know who you are or exactly where you live, unless you have informed them in some way, which is unlikely.  So anyone that cold calls about a virus and knows your name and address, and claims any relationship with Microsoft, is a scammer.

In the background, you might hear other voices indicating that they are in a busy call centre.  You may even hear another operator reading from exactly the same phone scam script.

They will then try to convince you of one or more of the following,

  • Your computer is infected with a virus and it has ‘somehow’ reported that fact to the technical support company.
  • Your computer is infected with a virus and it is sending out spam emails to people.
  • Your computer is ‘somehow’ reporting critical software or hardware errors to the technical support company, or sending out error messages, and it is in imminent danger of breaking or failing.
  • Your Windows Operating System is corrupted and about to fail.

They will make it sound like this is an urgent problem that needs your immediate attention.

Here are some common things they will get you to check or do, to add weight to the believability of the scam,

  • They might ask you to check the Event Viewer.  In Windows, the Event Viewer is a way of seeing various messages generated by programs installed on your computer.
  • Even on a healthy, brand new computer from the shop, there will be lots of messages in the Event Viewer.  Almost all of these messages are general information messages, something has started up, user has logged on, etc, etc.  A very small percentage are real errors, but they tend to be hardware device problems relating to printers or other hardware, or they are to do with a program that has crashed.
  • It is extremely unlikely that you will see anything in the Event Viewer that directly indicates the presence of a virus.  And even if there was something relevant in there, it would take an experienced IT person to decipher it.  So whatever they show you in the Event Viewer, don’t be fooled into thinking it is a virus.
  • They may ask you to check random folders within the Windows directory that general home computer users will have never had need to look at before.  The caller will indicate that a lot of files in this folder, or no files in this folder, is a very bad sign!  Rubbish.
  • You might have to type various commands into the ‘Run’ box or start simple Windows diagnostic programs that are installed by default on your computer.  Various screens will appear and the caller will say this looks very bad…
  • They might ask you to run a registry checker program that will show hundreds of ‘errors’.  It is common for the Windows Registry to have ‘errors’ in it, but it generally does no harm at all.  In fact, running an aggressive registry cleaner can do much more harm, and potentially leave you with a computer that will not boot up.

Once they have you hooked, they will ask you to open up the Internet and go to a website where you will be asked to download a program that will allow them to take remote control of your PC.

Quite often, the website that they direct you to is perfectly legitimate.  For example, the AMMYY program which is downloaded from www.ammyy.com is a perfectly legitimate program for remotely accessing a computer.  Similarly, LogMeIn is a perfectly legitimate remote access program.

Usually these programs are used by office workers to access their work PC from home, or access work files while they are on a business trip.  However, scammers can make use of these legitimate remote access tools for their own malicious ends.

I would strongly recommend that you do not let them talk you into downloading a remote control program.  Once you have done this, you really are out of control.  You will see your mouse pointer moving around, and they may download information from your computer.

They will also try to convince you that you now need to pay for their ‘fix’ services to correct the problems.

They might take you to the PayPal site and take a payment from you.  Or they may take you to another website requesting credit card payment.  Or they may ask over the phone for your credit card details.

If you do pay for their fix, they may play about with your computer settings, or install what appears to be fix tools, but personally I would not be trusting them.  I have not heard any reports of them doing any good.  And more likely, they are stealing personal data or installing trojans or other malware that will steal from you.

If you back out and don’t pay, a common consequnce is that they will hide your desktop icons.  All the little images on your desktop of files or programs will vanish.  If that’s the worst that happens, you got away lightly.  Here is how to fix the problem of missing desktop icons.

As I have previously discussed in my other post, if you have any doubt about whether they might have installed any malicious software on your computer, I would strongly recommend that you take your computer to a reputable computer repair shop, or ask your computer repair guy to call out to your home.  If there is a problem, they will be able to fix it for you.

I hope that in the next couple of years we will see this type of phone scam reducing and going away, but something tells me it won’t.  For as long as there are people out there who can be taken advantage of, scammers will try to con them.

All that we can do is try to spread the word about this phone scam to friends and family, neighbours and colleagues.  The more people know that the phone scam is going on, the better chance we have that decent, honest people will not get scammed.

Keep bringing me your stories.

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116 Responses to '2012 Update to the ‘Microsoft’ phone scam call about a virus'

  1. Jeff says:

    Just happened to me 06/17/2014 not sure why they thanked me. The English Accent is buried under Indian accent. Lots of call center noise in background. The guy talked about the Alureon virus having sent them information about my computer and they were special unit and will fix the computer. First open RUN, (Microsoft key +R) type MSCONFIG see all those files that are infected in the Services Tab. (running or stopped is what you will see on any computer)
    What files are your referring to I asked. They said, Well if there are more than 5 than your in trouble. Trouble, I don’t see anything I see some files are stopped and I don’t even use those old files anymore.
    Again, Hey you called me and I should not be talking to you at all. “But Your computer has informed us that you have the Alureon virus and we know how to fix it. Can we have our advance tech talk to you. Sure why not.

    OH he said could you close that file first. Why would I do that, wont I need it; I will wait to hear from the tech guy. Well I BINGED the Alureon Virus and Microsoft gave me the link to see if the Virus is in my computer. I downloaded it from Microsoft while waiting for the tech, (it found something not sure what yet) the fact is the virus has been around since 2009. Then the tech came on, I said you want to access my computer don’t you? He said yes we will fix it all for you since your computer tells us it is infected. and we will fix it for you and while we do it you will see us work on your computer” I asked for the call back number and it was different than the one they called from. 888-514-1650, 309-474-0863. Then I told him I was going to call a Microsoft support specialist and he dropped the call. Funny huh, played the only trump card I got pretty much the whole scam out of them and decided to post it to the most recent Thread. Please avoid this scam and get the latest Microsoft safety scanner free online to check you computer, it free.

  2. Trekrn says:

    I just received one of these calls today. I am from the US. I may not be very computer savvy, but am very cautious when it comes to unsolicited calls or the internet. A man with a heavy Indian accent said he was from Microsoft and was calling about virus downloaded to my computer from a bad website. I told him I hadn’t been on my computer in the last two days and hadn’t downloaded anything. He said it had happened in the last 10 – 12 days and gave me the whole spiel about it being dangerous. He wanted me to run a program “eventvwr” I told him I needed to verify he was a legitimate Microsoft rep. I asked for a number to call him back. At first he gave me 347-338-2307. I asked him why he didn’t have a toll free number. He gave me 1-800-492-3960 and to ask for George. I called back the 1-800 number which was answered by a different man giving the company name Global Business Machine. I explained about the call I had just received from “George.” The new person did not give me a name but said the company was a contractor for Microsoft for technical support with viruses, malware, etc. He gave me the same story about my computer being infected. I told him I had been on vacation for two weeks and no one had been on my computer during that time. (Yes, I lied but they did too and by that time I knew it.)He said it had happened within the last 6 months. I told him “George” had said it had happened within the last two weeks, he was full of crap, and this was a scam. When I told him I was going to report them, he got mad and ended the call. These guys need to be stopped.

  3. Joseph Nichols says:

    My 79 year old mother got a call from these people today. The accent was so heavy she had trouble understanding him. She hung up on him and he called back. She hung up on him again. This time he did not call back. I hope this SOB dies. She said he sounded Indian so I ate 2 hamburger patties for dinner tonight.

  4. John says:

    Well here it is 2914,and they are still at it! In this case they claim they are responding to a report from their server.

  5. Louis says:

    Do not call list does NOTHING! So many complaints! I hope someone somewhere can do something.

    As a linguist, it’s interesting how many people mention the accent.

  6. mike says:

    thought i got rid of the windows scam caller’s last sep.when i put signed up to nat’el do not call list.but there back/2 dayz in a row roughly same time.yesterday retold them to remove my number from calling list..this morning told them to hold well my gf called the fbi to trace the call and made it real clear i new it was a scam.any idea how to permantly stop these jerks from calling

  7. tracy says:

    I received such a call this morning. “John” an Indian accented man said all of the above. I was suspicious so since I was having trouble understanding him, I said I didn’t give info over the phone to someone I had not called myself.

    Caller ID was v01150746290054
    number they called from was 201-338-6210

    I asked for a phone number I could call back. He gave me numbers, but not enough to make a phone number. I asked twice… He couldn’t understand me. He got me to the run screen by pushing ctrl and ‘r’. At that point he gave me “ev” then finally handed me off to “janie”. I told her the phone number he gave me was not a number and she gave me 1-866-539-8674 to call back and ask for her. I hung up and looked this up in the meantime. Glad I did.
    Maybe this number will help catch these theives.

  8. jann says:

    hello i was reading to this article and oh my god! i just did exactly what i wasnt supposedly to do, now i dont know what to do. im trying to find some help. i would be very thankful if you reply to me and tell me what can i do if i gave them permission to acces to my computer, is my information in risk? or now they can acces to my computer whenever they want?
    i dont know too much about computers or all technology so i hope if you can help me with this or tell me what you know, what can happend after they acces to my computer. i didnt pay anything but they did have my email and phone number.
    please tell me what you know can happend
    i call 18553674879 the noproblempc.com and they sent me to chat123.us and gave me a 6 digit number to acces the online tech support

  9. Not Gullable says:

    I knew as soon as they called it was a scam so I had some fun. I kept the woman on the phone for an hour ( who did not speak English well-heavy accent) She kept trying to get me to open up stuff ect ect. Finaly, she gave me to a ” supervisor ” who asked who payed the bills in my house? ( more fun ) I said I don’t know, Im in jail…. He hung up the phone.
    It was fun, but- poor those that ARE GULLABLE WHO COULD GET SCAMMED !!!

  10. Lisa says:

    I’ve got their call today, I’m from Luxembourg (Europe). Curious: The guy had a very strong american accent. I didn’t know about the fraud but I was very suspicious. I asked him to call back at 4pm and right after I did a research on internet and I found a thousand of articles about it… Now it’s 16:10pm and he didn’t get back to me yet… Do you think he will? :D

  11. Mark says:

    I’ve had several of these from California. Sounds like the same Indian guy each time. How would they know which computers I have. Today it was from 210-519-6126.

  12. Bruce A says:

    And it continues to happen in Canada as well … I must get 3 or 4 of these calls a week and I feel it is border-line harassment and am desperate to find a way to stop this. Emails and contacts to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre are a waste of time, all they tell you is how to prevent it … well duh.
    And here’s another story on this topic, I was in Montreal back in February dealing with the passing of my mom who was 90 years old. While my brother and I are at her house cleaning it out, the phone rings … yep you guessed it, “hello, this is Microsoft … blah blah blah”. My mother had never owned a computer, didn;t even have internet iin her home. I was in a playful mood as I knew exactly what the scam was so started to go along with them and I asked, where do I find my mothers computer? They immediately hung up.

    But seriously, can’t something be done? I’m in Canada so not sure how different the rules are iin other countries but can’t these guys be traced? I’ve seriously considered usiing an old laptop with all dummy usernames, passwords that go nowhere and even considered a bank account with nothing in it just so i could attempt to get them to do what they do and trace it but I’m not totally tech-savy and think it would require cooperation of some law enforcement agency to actually have any good done from this.

    Does anyone out there have any ideas?

  13. Jim M. says:

    I just got the call. A very strong Indian accent, that I has really tough time to understand. When she told me that they were calling me because I’m a valuable MS customer…blah..blah, I detected it was a scam. I just played I was doing what she told me to do in my head, until I told her I couldn’t understand her what she wanted me to do. Another agent came to the rescue, and guided me to the Event Mgr. Then I started to make the questions: Hum, BTW from which computer should I be on?? She never expected me to ask…. so she just said… “the oldest one”, ha, clever…that might be the easier one to hack…. she just made sure all were connected to the same “IP Address” … I know, but how can a none PC savvy know?? I told her NO, I have several ISP’s , but then after 3 minutes, I got tired…so I just told them, good try, I don’t have more time for you. Thank goodness, they can’t speak English, so hopefully most of the time people just hang on them, before they do any harm. :-)

  14. Lan Pho says:

    They just called today. They have my phone and address. He said he will have a tech call call me later. I didn’t give credit card or let them download anything.I never answered. I asked my friend and she said sounded like a scam. I googled it and saw this blog.

  15. Margie says:

    I am so sick of these scammers taking advantage of people. Today was the third attempt on me in the past two years. I live in upstate New York. The first time I was almost taken in and I am computer savy. The past two days when I received calls I basically kept them on the line purposely prolonging their call without ever getting on my computer until both times the SCAMMER hung up on me!!! Again, I feel so bad since I mentioned it on facebook and a friend stated she was scammed out of $200. Hopefully these messages will get out to the general public.

  16. Carol says:

    My mother received several calls from 213 221-3528. They are located in LA and started their pitch about Security Issues with Windows. They were rude. I asked for the office manager and she was rude and hung up on me 5 times. This is a hoax. I threatened to report them and they kept hanging up on me. The were not easy to understand because they might have been calling from LA but the dialect was not english. Be careful and don’t give them any info.

  17. Matt says:

    I have received at least 30 calls from these people but knew it was a fraud. Today, May 8, I held them on the line and recorded “Vinny” as he walked me through loading the software, which I was not doing. The numbers that called me 786-275-5013 and 202-411-2744
    I kept pretending the line dropped and he kept calling back.

  18. Lionel says:

    0011976000 is the number they’re using which indicates that it is from a pay phone or phone card meaning it would be untraceable I believe. The callers have an Indian sounding accent.

  19. NM says:

    My mom just got a call from someone claiming to be from microsoft. He said that there is a dangerous virus affecting Windows and requested to speak with the primary computer user in the household. (I suppose the specifics about a particular computer was no longer working so they are going with a general approach…) She didn’t know what to do and said “they aren’t home” and to call back later. She clearly did the right thing. I told her I was 99% sure it was a scam (microsoft would not call customers about a virus unless they were returning a call or responding to an email requesting support), but I’ve been having a LOT of problems with my laptop lately (and when programs close, they typically send error reports to Microsoft), so it would be really nice if it was legit. To be sure, I searched for Microsoft virus alerts/updates and found this post confirming my suspicion. Additionally, the number on the caller ID matches the most recent one reported in the comments, (253) 802 0308. By the way, I live in the USA, in NC in case anyone is following geographical regions they’re calling.
    I almost hope that they do call back later so I can have a little fun before calling them out and threatening legal action… hehehe…

  20. Tim says:

    Yep. Just got the “social engineering” call here in the USA. They say social engineering is proving to be the fastest growing form of attack. I asked him questions like what Operating System was reporting the error and when they said an Operating System I didn’t own I explained to them that social engineering was cruel – they hung up :-) .

  21. Ian says:

    In regards to the previous post:
    Just managed to retrieve the scam phone number from caller id (253) 802 0308. In checking the Net, this number is commonly reported.

  22. Ian says:

    Just received a call from (253) Area Code – “Todd Martin” from “Microsoft Security”. Same talk as everyone else. Remarkably, Todd seems to have spent some time in India as his accent gave him away.
    He was quite insistent on providing me with my Windows License number so that he could prove he was from Microsoft. I told him to give me his phone number and I would call him back. He said he couldn’t do that so I told him that there was no way in Hell that I would allow him access to any of our computers and hung up.
    Thanks for the confirmation that we did the right thing.

  23. Laura Mullen says:

    I have started getting these in earnest in the past week or so. I’ve hung up on them, I’ve told them I don’t own a computer, I’ve even called them on their scam. Not much you can do, it’s just like the home security calls I was receiving at the end of last year. Unfortunately, the Do Not Call Register isn’t really equipped for scams like this.

    Houston, Texas

  24. Aredina says:

    Just received a call (this is number 10-11 now). Jan 26, 2013. I answered it and he said his normal mumbo jumbo then I handed the phone to my husband, who hadnt had the pleasure of talking to them, and he said “Dude you’re talking out of your ass.” and hung up. I want to know if there is a place we can report these calls.

    • Erica says:

      My call came last night at 3:30 in the morning! He claimed he worked the night shift and detected a very dangerous virus. I hung up and he called back! Told him I didn’t care – I’d fix it in the morning. Must be really trying to catch people off guard.

  25. Barbara says:

    6 pm eastern time, Tuesday, January 22, 2013. Just got this call, same scam speech.

  26. Sally Brewis says:

    I tried to get in touch with Microsoft to find out if my phone call from “James” was a scam – I have had several of these phone calls but played along with the one today for a while. I got to the point when I was directed to the Event Viewer when I asked him how he could prove that he worked for Windows / Microsoft and he got really defensive. At that point, I just hung up. But to those who aren’t of a suspicious mind, it really sounds legit. Be careful!

  27. Laura says:

    Just answered a call with a “private” caller-id. Told “Jacob from Microsoft” that I’d run my own virus check and then I ended the phone call. I’m in NJ.

  28. Amber says:

    Received a call from a woman who was very hard to understand (African maybe. Lots of background noise) saying she was from Microsoft and I have downloaded a malicious program. She went on to say that she would help me get rid of it and when I told her I took care of it she became very pissed off and hung up on me. I don’t even run Windows.

  29. Brian says:

    Received a call from “Windows” this morning from a man with an Indian accent claiming my computer was “sending numerous error messages” indicating it was infected with a very dangerous virus. Attempted to get me to “walk through steps” on the computer to “prove I am legitimate.” I asked if he worked for Microsoft and he stated “yes, from Windows Technical division.” Could hear “boiler-room” background of many people on the phone. I said I was not comfortable with this and he hung up. The number on my caller ID is: 1-011-121-3456, which doesn’t work.

    Next time I will string them along to help waste their time. If they waste their time, maybe eventually they will quit.

  30. Alan Williams says:

    Had a Private Caller ID on my phone. Surprised to have an English speaking voice (Indian?) as we live in France. Usual ‘computer about to crash’ and ‘I’m from Windows’ chat. I refused to access my computer and asked him for a phone number to ring him back on after I verified his credentials. He hang up. Surprised to get this scam happening in France but I guess no country is immune. The article on missing desktop items/shortcuts was very illuminating. Thanks

  31. Ruth says:

    I just received this phone call today from “Windows Technical Support”. I was immediately skeptical and asked many questions of the caller, including reconfirming that they were calling from Microsoft. “Yes”. When I persisted in asking him which computer of mine he was calling about, he said “just turn on any of them”. Ha! He even gave me a phone number when I asked for one. I figured at that point he would hang up. But, we went around and around for several minutes. He mentioned that he would be giving me a website to go to after I turn on my computer, etc… When I insisted that he give me the website name he promptly hung up.

  32. Judy says:

    I received a call today from a foreign speaking man asked for his phone number as I was baking….he offered to call me back
    In 1 hour he called back with the same story about a virus on my computer
    I told him he was scam artist and he hung up
    Seattle

  33. JimS says:

    I got one of these phone calls two days ago. I had been having a lot of computer issues on my two laptops, was very distracted, and just partway sucked into it. The accented man (Indian?) told me he was an authorized Microsoft service person. I asked why I should believe that, and he referred me to http://www.supportmywindows.com/ as proof of his legitimacy. He then had me “Login” to the website with a user ID and password he provided and directed me to click on on the link to “Connect with Sunny” This generated a 10? digit number on my PC that he had me read to him.

    Meanwhile, I had Googled “Support My Windows” and found this website. I immediately turned off the wireless function on my laptop and hung up.

    I feel really stupid. I usually know better, but it has been a bad week. I did not download anything. I did not provide any credit card info. There is almost no personal info on this laptop. I saw no activity on my laptop. My phone has been ringing a lot from a blocked phone number, but I have not answered it.

    My sense is that I probably avoided a bad mistake here, barely. Anything else I should look at.

  34. April says:

    Just got called tonight. Caller ID says unknown name and 000-000-0000 for the number. Claimed to be from Microsoft and that my computer contacted Microsoft over the internet. Said I needed to remove some unwanted software on my computer. I know that Microsoft will not call so I told them I didn’t have a computer online and then they hung up on me. The guy had a heavy indian accent.

  35. K z says:

    Just received call today, 10 minutes ago from caller I.D. 66-0008. He claimed, in a very heavy accent, my computer is running Microsoft Windows, has a virus, it is sending”error” messages to Microsoft, and he can fix it. I hung up. Yikes!

  36. Bryan MILLS says:

    Lots of people complaining anout the calls no-one doing anything about it. Track them down – they must be using skype (or similar). Surely somone in has the capability. Use international hacking law against them.

  37. kg says:

    I am in Texas. I got a call from them today. Indian male started in trying to scare me. I asked for his credentials (address, email, website, phone I can call back). Took 2 trys before “Allen” gave me anything. He then gave me this website to verify his validity: http://www.windows.livesupport.com

    At this point, I had already known it was a scam, but have had a rough week at my job at a VERY large technical firm, so decided to play with him. I shouted “I Can’t hear you” so he would shout. Then, I had my feelings hurt for him shouting at me. All the while telling him I am VERY scared and need him to help me. I let him think I was going to the site directed, sniffled a bunch and said I was too upset to continue. He piped in saying if I hung up, my computer would be broken for good.

    I tired of my game and let him know I was fully aware that I did not have a virus, that he was a scam, and karma would reward him appropriately.

    I hope they call back, as I will have a need to blow off more steam next week.

  38. Ross W says:

    They have started calling me again in Toronto.Not sure if it is the same “Company” as the Canadian Gov. managed to fine and shut out the calls I was getting from an Indian site.So they must have changed their name.
    So My Microsoft Windows is infected again? I asked her if she knew what SnowLeopard,Lion and Mountain Lion was.She kept telling me we have to fix your Windows.I kept repeating my question to her.Finally she hung up very confused.
    (I have a MacBook and A Mac Mini. No PC’s)

  39. Tracy Gladman says:

    I have been having these calls for several weeks now and I live in the UK. Today, they were extremely rude to me when I asked them to stop calling saying things like “who do you think you are the queen?” When I questioned what errors I had the reply I got was “What gives you the right to think you are fucking qualified to know and why should I fucking tell you anyway!” Err that will be because you are calling me! I told them to stop calling and put the phone down. It’s really starting to aggravate me now and there doesn’t seem a way to stop them.

  40. Cor says:

    I got these phone calls the last couple of weeks. I’ve always hung up the phone as soon as soon as I heard the Indian English accent (I live in the Netherlands so it’s not that common that we get an american caller, or an International caller if you will). This morning the phone rang, so I went and picked it up. It was the same Indian accent I’ve been hearing the last couple of weeks. So this time I decided that it was time for a different approach. He started the same lines as listed in the article and I let him finish, pretending I was concerned about my computers. Then I started to ask questions. I asked for his name, he said it was ‘Alistair Morrillon’. I asked him where he was located, he said ‘Redmond, Washington’. So I thought to myself, damn it, he’s done his homework like a true scammer. When I said that I work at the Microsoft office in the Netherlands (which isn’t true), located in Amsterdam, and that I would find his employee number he hung up on me. So it was the other way around for once. I hope he doesn’t call me back, but I really feel satisfied now.

  41. Jen says:

    I just received a call from “Windows” made by a person with an Indian accent claiming that my computer is infected with multiple viruses and that he could help me remove them. While he was talking I did a quick google and found your story! Thank you for saving me from a terrible mistake. BTW, the number he called from is a non-working TX number (469) 286 9841.

  42. Pablo63 says:

    Good to see that we are not alone. My wife recently has received two of these phone scam calls. One the number was not blocked and was Brazillian in origin (if it was the real number indicated) and the second the number was blocked. Both pertained to a problem of an aggressive virus in our network that needed urgent fixing and that my wife should immediately allow them access to the computer. Fortunately my wife is alert to this and after stringing them along for a while she stated that the caller was clearly a phone scam closely followed by accusing them of being low life scum! At this point the caller hastily put the phone down not to be heard from again.
    These recent experiences only further re-emphasise never give details such as computer ID etc. over the telephone or e.mail without prior direct agreement with the organisation you are dealing with. Banks, IT establishments etc. in my experience always arrange things first in writing before arranging for a further appointment. Even if this is not the case always ask for further information, contact numbers etc. before handing anything over.
    It is annoying that you cannot trust people but that is the annoying reality of the world in which we currently live. Sorry to go on but these scams I think are the lowest of the low as they target the most insecure in our society who are doing no one any harm. Is there a way of tracing these people or are they at the end of an elaborate network that is effectively untraceable?

  43. Bumble says:

    Got a call this afternoon, second time this month, from an “Indian accent” male who indicated he represented “Windows Systems”. I’ve had these before and usually just hang up. For entertainment purposes, I quess, I decided to let the caller give me his pitch. It was pretty amazing to listen to him inform me how I had such big problems with my computer and that absolutely no one could fix it except their service, i.e. “Windows”. After awhile I let him know I have excellent security on my computer and have absolutely no intention of letting him has access to my computer. He actually got mad and kept up his ramblings. Then I finally hung up. It is extremely concerning though that these types of phone calls continue and have the potential to scare persons into providing access to their comptuers and their personal information. Wish I could get these persistant calls stopped, even though I tell them each and every time they call to remove my name from their list and not call back.

  44. Wiley Prybar says:

    We got this call last night. My wife answered and he called her by name, said he was from Microsoft and that they had detected a virus on our computer (didn’t specify which of the three). The Indian-accented guy gave her a bunch of malarkey, of course, when she asked how they got our name and number, and informing him we’re on state and federal no-call lists.
    After some of his, I got on the extension and asked which MS OS this referred to, as we are using two, in addition to a Mac OS. He said WIN 7 (nope, not one we use), so I asked him for the license number for the OS on the affected computer, and he actually reeled of a number with the right number of digits and letters!
    He wanted me to turn on “the” computer–didn’t specify which one or why he wasn’t aware we had two online at the time–so I pretended I was. I asked him if MS was going to charge me to fix our infected computer; of course there would be a charge associated with the fix.
    So I told him that made this an unsolicited commercial call, which meant he was breaking two no-call laws, and told him to put on his manager or supervisor. Somewhere in there, he hung up.
    It’s really disturbing that now they know our number is good (to add to the dozens of other illegal robocalls we get every week–good job, FTC!), and from the background noise, he was obviously calling from a cal lcenter that was busy doing the same thing to lord knows how many others at the same time.
    Thanks for posting your article. Hopefully it will save some people some cost and anxiety.

  45. Magda says:

    Received Windows service headquarters call about PC crashing unless they fixed it right away. Took over controls and asked for $5.00 to be sent via Western Union with my credit card. Skeptical, I demanded a phone number to verify and got (315) 557-6515. They blocked my internet connection but I have an iPad where I searched Reverse Number site. They claimed they were in So. CA but the number was from Clinton, NY, so when they called back I told them I knew it was a scam and I was reporting them to the FCC. Don’t know yet if they messed up my PC.

  46. T Row says:

    Got this call for the first time this afternoon. When he said my computer was sending signals it had a virus I replied that was odd, as our computers have not been turned on all day. He assured me it’s been doing it for several days. When he asked me to turn on my computer, I told him I was not going to turn on my computer because some random person called and told me I had a virus, I would run my own virus software, and I then I hung up. Next thing was a reverse luck up and google search. The phone number was out of Alameda, CA, and the google search brought me here. Is there any type of action that can be taken to report this to the authorities?

  47. Gillian Gilbert says:

    I get lots of these calls and always act as if I’m computer illiterate to make them think they’re on to a winner. Then when they ask me to turn my computer on I tell them it will take a while because it’s so slow. They usually say they will hold the line and wait. I then put the phone in the birdcage where my cockatiel chats to them (that must confuse them). Of course I never get back to them and it’s funny to hear them shouting ‘hello’ for ages. At least it stops them scamming anyone else for a while!

    I also had an interesting variation on this scam call last week. It was from an Indian man claiming to be from Windows Support who said that I was due a refund (for what goodness knows but it was for around £200, I can’t remember the exact figure). He said I needed to switch my computer on so they could send me the form I needed to get the money. Needless to say he got the same treatment as the rest of them.

  48. Cindy says:

    SEPT. 28, 2012 I’M REALLY FREAKED OUT!!! I got a blocked call about 6pm and was skeptical about answering it. Most of the time those go to the answering machine. It was a guy with an accent talking to me about my computer. I was very skeptical. He said that he is with “PC SERVICE MASTERS” and that for the past 4 weeks my computer has been registering on the global network with Microsoft with problems. I was STILL VERY SKEPTICAL and I almost hung up. He repeated that he was working along with Microsoft and that they can help me fix my computer. I asked how he got my number and I asked him a bunch of other questions. He had me go to windows and type in R and then http://www.showmypc.com and wanted me to download something. Another RED FLAG and I resisted once again. He was able to overcome every single question with a reasonable answer. I downloaded that and then he was able to SEE MY COMPUTER AND CONTROL IT!!!! That really freaked me out and I was filled with anxiety and I still am!!! :( He had me go into the event viewer and he showed me that there were over 60,000 events on my computer that were a problem. He went into the system configuration and showed me some critical programs that were stopped and no longer running. He said that my computer has poor performance now and it could be a lot faster. I saw everywhere he was going on my PC. I asked how come my AVG virus protection wasn’t taking care of this? He said it does do it’s job and that it is one of the top virus protection companies. He said this is from things I looked at online and they were corrupt and started to corrupt my computer. I again asked why the AVG wouldn’t take care of this? He explained more. I also kept asking how much this was going to cost me to fix? He said it would be free for a lifetime with Microsoft. I said What? That doesn’t sound right.

    Anyway then he transferred me to his master technician who had been listening the whole time I found out. He also had an accent. I had asked the second guy some of the same questions and he already knew that I had asked them before. He showed me a ton of files on my computer that were “infected.” My mind was still not understanding this and I was so anxiety filled, scared and skeptical. So I said are you going to fix them right now or what? He said “I am showing you the files can you see them?” I said, “Yes”. I asked again how much is this going to cost me to fix? He said with everything included for one year it is going to be $90. Would you like to use a credit card or debit card? I said, “I am not comfortable giving that out over the phone.” I understand and I will show you now the website where you can enter the info yourself. Then you can print off the transaction on your printer. Well that diidn’t really ease my mind any. So I said, “what if I don’t have the money right now?” He said, “You can go to Walmart and get a MONEY PACK VOUCHER CARD and it will have a 14 digit code on it to scratch off and you can use it online.” He showed me the website on there http://www.pcservicemasters.com and their phone #. He gave me a ticket# good for life. I did NOT pay. I said, “ok so if I don’t do this now, is my computer going to stay the same as it was before?” He said, “yes it will.” And he told me that it’s up to me to take care of it or not. I said, “I downloaded a file and now you can control my computer. How do I know that you will no longer be able to do that?” He said, “Because when you restart your computer it will log us off.” I DID NOT buy that as I know they can still see my computer and I am really scared about all of this. :( They both mentioned how I should have noticed a slow down on my computer and some screens that won’t come up, etc. I told them that yes it has been acting weird. And I didn’t say this but just today I noticed at the top there were some sites that were not secured and instead of the green lock in the box at the top, it had a yellow bell. I had X’d out of those earlier and brought up new windows instead. I told them that I have never heard of a company like theirs calling me about my PC. They assured me that it was all ok.

    There was nothing major wrong with my PC so I wasn’t worried. I pay for AVG every year. I knew I have the techs/hackers website and their phone number if needed. So I could go on there later and pay after I checked them out online. I was going to google and also ask people on Facebook about it all. Oh and since just THIS week we had people from overseas blocked bank accounts across the USA. I was really worried. I got off the phone and I went on Facebook and wrote this note.While waiting for any replies, I went to Google and saw the showmypc thing and it seemed all fine and good. I tried to see if there were any other comments about PC SERVICE MASTERS and I couldn’t find any info. I checked my Facebook again and my Friend LeAnn advised me that I was hacked. She said no one will ever call you and ask you personal info or email you asking that. I knew about email hackers. I knew about shady people calling others too. These guys were good. I warn people all the time about hackers and spammers. She said they wanted access to my bank account. I was really scared and upset. I called my bank’s 800#. I explained and a nice guy helped me. He explained that they could put a 24 hour hold on my account. I asked about what we had spent today. He said that those transactions will be paid. He said we needed to go to the bank tom. or Mon. and they will give us a new account number. So that means new checks, new ATM cards, changing account info with bill companies, etc. When I got off of the PC and went on my laptop, I looked up my bank account. I saw in the pending transactions that there was a “CASH CHECK” in the amount of my WHOLE account!!! So yes they were trying to wipe us out. :( I took photos of the screen, I took photos of the places on my computer that they had me go. I have no idea how they picked me to scam!!!

    I’ve been crying for hours. :**( My sweet hubby said that it happens. He said that we got the account frozen and that it will be ok. I told him how totally stupid I feel. He said I’m not stupid and it happens to many people. He then wondered if they could get to our daughter’s computer through our router and into her accounts. A friend wondered if they could get to her through my facebook, so she said she may not be commenting on my stuff for awhile. I have felt sick all evening and I took Tylenol earlier. THESE “WONDERFUL PEOPLE” DO NOT EVEN CARE IF THEY TAKE ALL YOUR MONEY, MAKE YOUR HEALTH IN JEOPARDY OR ANYTHING. HOW CAN PEOPLE LIKE THIS SLEEP AT NIGHT???? THEY NEED TO BE IN JAIL!!!!!! I am REALLY MAD now if you can’t tell!!!!!! I will be sharing my story with many others believe me. I am not a tech but I don’t think I’m a novice either. I feel very violated and very stupid now. :( I changed my password for Yahoo and for Facebook. If you know of other things I need to check on, please let me know.

    I never noticed this icon on my toolbar before which is a V and it says “TightVNC server for windows.” When I click on it it talks about remote access. Even though that site that I downloaded the remote access was showmypc.com which I googled and it seems fine. I am going to try to take that off my computer. I unplugged my computer. I am on my laptop now. Do I need to get a tech to check my PC now or what?? Please say a prayer for us that we get this worked out and that it is not more far reaching and affect things we do not know about. And that we will have our money and access to it. Thank you. SHARE!!! Cindy M.

  49. JD says:

    It’s turning into a little bit of a game here at the office. These people call daily and I’ve been keeping a tally on who they say they are. First they claimed to be Microsoft and as of today (9/28) they are now just PC Resolve. Every day it’s the same comments. And every day they try to convince me to go to their website or preform their scans. They seemed annoyed when I call them out or cut them off saying “I’m not interested in running your scan. I don’t want to pay for your software that is already free and I can run myself, and I’m not going to give you remote access to my computer.”
    This only happens at the office and I’m getting annoyed when they continue calling. Is there any way to effectively report this and get these people to stop?

  50. Carol says:

    After stringing the first caller along for a few minutes, he got ticked off when I wouldn’t give him my husband’s name (he’d told me that he – my husband – had “registered” the computer). Which one?? We have 4. blah blah blah and then he told me I was “lying” so I told HIM the conversation was over. Second guy was so cheerful and friendly…even gave me his name and a call-back number (as if!!). I told him I couldn’t make any decisions alone, as we had “joint ownership”. He had our names, address and phone number (maybe thanks to Canada411) and darned if he didn’t call back that evening to ask if I’d had a chance to discuss the issue. The jig was up, and I politely and quickly blew him off. We REALLY need to find a way to dispose of this rodent infestation. It needs to get much more publicity: if it wasn’t working, these $cammer$ might give up!! Might.

  51. Sheila says:

    My husband recently managed to keep one of these conmen on the phone for about 25 minutes by pretending to go along with it. Unfortunately our computer was being ‘very slow’ and we kept ‘losing’ our internet connection. The caller gave up in the end.

  52. Ireland says:

    Recieved a call on Saturday morning, Indian/Pakistani man said he was a Windows technician, same patter as the rest “computer was infected etc” . I was suspiciuos straight away and told him my computer was not in the house and he said he will ring back on Monday. Googled info on this and came on here. I am going to ask him if he works for Windows and if they do double glacing.

  53. Jan says:

    My first call, asking for me -correct name. International call man called Gavin indian acsent said my PC was sending error messages to microsoft. I said it was not, he said but your pc is running slow and they can fix it. I said I did deal with these sort of calls as it is a scam, he said oh and hung up!

  54. Melissa says:

    This morning while we were eating breakfast, the phone rang. My mom answered it, and they wanted to speak to my sister. They gave my sister’s name. Well, my sister isn’t living with us right now. She’s in graduate school in another state, and she is living on campus.

    They insisted that they wanted to talk to her. My mom kept telling them that she wasn’t home, she was off at school, etc. They wanted my mom to turn on my sister’s computer.

    They claimed that she had problems with her Windows computer. LOL — this was another red flag. My sister has two Windows computers, and they are both in our basement. Neither have been turned on in years. She currently uses a Mac, and she has that with her at school.

    My mom didn’t tell them that my sister wasn’t using Windows computers anymore.

    Anyway, my mom was very confused. The guy that she spoke to on the phone had a very thick Indian accent. He gave his name as being Richard Williams, LOL. That didn’t sound like an Indian name to my mom. She took down a phone number for my sister to call the guy at 727-569-8324.

    My dad looked up the area code in the phone book. Apparently this is a Florida number.

    After she hung up and told us about the situation, I immediately suspected it was a scam. First, why would my sister be needing support with her Windows computers?

    Secondly, why would she give our home phone number instead of her cell phone for technical support when she is off at school? If she was needed technical support for a a computer she was using at her work, then she would have given the number of her place of employment.

    Thirdly, why didn’t this guy with the Indian accent state what company he was with? And why did he call it a Windows computer rather than name the specific brand (HP or Dell or whatever)?

    Fourth, his name Richard Williams — that doesn’t match up with an extremely heavy Indian accent.

    Anyway, I’m thankful that there were so many red flags in our particular case. I can see how the situation might have been different had my sister lived at home with us and used a Windows computer in recent times. My mom, who doesn’t know much about computers, might have been tricked by them.

    Anyway, I live in Ohio. This is the first I’d ever heard of this particular scam.

    My mom was really confused when she was talking to the guy. She said that they wanted to send her some kind of computer error report. My guess is that he told her that my sister’s computer was reporting errors, and he wanted to fix it. Like I said, he did want her to turn on my sister’s computer.

    Thanks for writing this article so that I could confirm that this was a scam that is affecting a lot of people.

  55. Virt says:

    This New York number 212-512-2524, is calling and claiming a port is open on your pc and a hacker is using your pc and asking you log in and they will help shut the port down. It is so much like the article above that it is uncanny, thick indian accent and large call center in background. I am sure after reading your article that it is the same scam just a different approach. Thanks for your info.

  56. Lottie says:

    I live in Luxembourg and received a call last week from a man with an Indian accent saying he was calling from Microsoft in Sydney Australia and that my computer was sending them red alert error messages. He asked to speak to me and knew my name, address and email address. I asked him for his phone number which he started to give to me (began with a 6) but then became aggresive and said who was I to ask such questions (!) and hung up on me. The phone rang again 5 mins later but I didn’t answer it.

  57. DarkManX says:

    I got one of these guys calling me and I followed through on it up until the point where he asked for my credit card number. Then I told him I don’t have any money and I don’t have a credit card (lie), turned off the computer and started it up again.

    Now, here’s the twist. I knew it was a scam when I picked up the phone. I used a computer that was literally wiped clean (I was thinking of disassembling it for new parts) so there is NOTHING for them to take. After I told the lie, I heard them say (in Hindi) that they would call back tomorrow. I’m here asking if there’s a way for me to trace the phone call that may or may not come tomorrow.

  58. Tim Miller says:

    Just received a call from these jokers this morning. After my wife hung up on them they called back and I answered. The guy on the oth end was rather demanding trying to tell me that he worked for Microsoft and that someone was trying to hack my Internet connection and that my computer was as great risk. I asked how they got my phone number as I have NEVER provided the correct number to any registration ever. He quickly ended the conversation. The phone rang a 3rd time and on the other end was the “manager”. I told him to pound sand. Let’s hope that is the end of it. But being in the northeast us this is the first I have ever heard of such an attempted scam

  59. Ian Harris says:

    Recently received a phone call, from an Indian lady, who had a very strong accent, advising me that she worked for a company called Home PC Support and that they were receiveing error mesasges in there offices from my PC, before i could speak to her she went off into a tangent telling me what I needed to do to sort out the problem, asking me what type of pc I had etc……I abruplty cut the lady short and told her I was giving her no information whatsoever and that she was wasting her time, she then quickly ended the phone call and hung up on me

  60. Peter says:

    I had some fun with these jokers.. They called me this morning.. I was very pushy and got them upset with me.. he started swearing at me then.. a so called supervisor john came on the phone and he was swearing at me.. I said I was hanging up.. I did they called back 5 mins later saying they were in my house.. ahaha I recorded the entire conversation.. wow I had fun with them!

  61. mary wallingford says:

    i live in ohio an i got 3 calls an they sid they was from micosoft an said that my computer was sending out alot of errors an virurs an then they wanted me to download this site an i didnt no what it was an i didnt they took over my computer an showed me what was wrong an then the wanted 60 dollars just in case if my computer broke down an then my daughter came up here an she figured it out an told me that it was a scam i hope other people doesnt get this problem

  62. Peter says:

    Ottawa Canada… just had the Indian accent guy on the phone.. 4th or 5th time this month.. told him we were giving up the computer because of idiots like him.. he came back with an obscenity, the big F word.. mustn,t be getting any business lately…

  63. Tamie says:

    I got a call this morning from someone saying they were from Microsoft and that my computer was sending them messages that I have very dangerous viruses on my computer. He informed me that my computer was going to crash if I did not fix the problem. he had me to an event viewer scan and told me that all the errors I was seeing meant I have a bunch of dangerous viruses. He then told me he had to put me on hold to transfer me to a level 5 tech support agent who will be able to remove all the viruses. while I was on hold I did some research from my smart phone and stumbled apon your Page here. I read through the information you wrote and realized it was a scam. when the “level 5″tech person got on the phone I told her exactly what she can do with her viruses and hung up the phone. I then called Microsoft directly and reported the incident to which they informed me that Microsoft never makes outgoing calls to inform people of viruses. I am thankful you posted this information as it helped assure me I was being scammed. I thankfully I never let them have access to my computer. I live in Florida and have posted your link on my Facebook Page to warn all my friends and family. Thanks again.

  64. Mandi says:

    I didn’t know the effect was this wide spread!, We’ve been recieving these calls weekly and have always known it was a scam. I always play around and ask them annoying questions till they hang up, ask where they are, and even recently told them i have no opmputer, and to that he replys ‘ we have your name on record as owning one’ and i asked what name, and he hung up >.<

  65. Jeanette says:

    I am from Michigan in the U.S. I got a call from Microsoft on 8/29/12. I let them have access to my computer and when I noticed rows of words (files) streaming down my screen I told them to get off and shut my computer down.When I turned it back on it had put my desktop items in the Garbage. Luckily my son is a computer tech and he wiped it clean and re installed windows. I scary part after that was-I was having problems reinstalling my Kaspersky so I called Iyogi, Indian again, who does support for a lot of computer companies. He never did address my issues with Kaspersky but wanted access to my computer and showed me the warnings and errors in the Even Viewer and wanted money to fix them. Since then I’ve learned it’s normal for a computer to have those. My computer seems to be working fine but can we not even trust the so called legitimate techs? I will never let anyone but my son remotely access my computer again.

  66. michelle says:

    I live in Texas and we just received a phone call from a guy with a very thick accent. We told him we couldn’t understand him so he called us back and a different guy told us to go to our computer and sign on, when i told him several times very forcefully, that i would not, he then told me the next time i got on my computer that it would blow up. I asked what company he as with and who he was and he hung up. The number comes across as 746343789.

  67. Pauline says:

    Someone just called me today about my apparent Windows problem. He had a thick accent. I asked for his phone number and the number he gave me was 213-221-3528. This is a Los Angeles number and I live near Los Angeles. I called the number back and the the receptionist announced the company ‘s name as “Windows Care”. I asked here where they are located and she said Los Angeles!. Wow…they are trying to make it sound like they are a local company!

  68. Kris says:

    Sorry to say, I was stupid enough to fall tor the scam. I was tricked into letting the man with the Indian accent show me all the danger my computer was in and before I knew it, he had remote access. That’s when I knew I was in trouble. After some pleading on my part, which didn’t work, he locked my computer. I turned the computer off. Now I am having trouble unlocking that computer. My husband is going to shoot me. I will most likely take the computer in and have it looked at. How dumb can I get? I should have googled “Scam trying to fix your computer” and found this article prior to proceeding. Michigan USA

  69. tilly says:

    I live in the UK and I’ve just had a phone call from a man with an Indian accent. He never mentioned where he was from. He also asked for the wrong person and when I said they don’t live at this address nor can they be contacted through this number he read the number back and asked if I was “the main computer user and bill payer” I said I am he then claimed that there is a new virus out there that anti-viral software can’t pick up on and that I NEED to check my computer isn’t infected right now, could I load up my computer so he can tell me how to pull up the “event manager” and see if it is infected. I lied and told him I am a computer technician and I know nothing is wrong with it. He rapidly hung up. I have no idea if it was the same company as all the others but anything to do with computers I instantly think scam, hence lying to get him off the phone! I sincerely hope that this dies down soon I dread to think how many people have been scammed out of money by them.

  70. Eda Larsen says:

    Numerous calls from persons with varying accents with requests to aid me in checking my pc. When I ask for their company name they do not respond. I told them they were breaking the law with their continued calling and I need the info to report them He had the temerity to tell me I was breaking the law. They are not getting near my equipment but I am tired of the calls.

  71. Kim says:

    I’ve had a phone call today from someone supposedly from the ‘London PC Group’ who said that they had been receiving error messages from my computer and that if i switched it on he would be able to repair it. When i asked him how he got my phone number he said something about the number comes up? I wasnt convinced at all so asked him what broadband supplier i was with and he said he wasnt allowed to know this. I told him i was going out and asked for his number which is 0203 129 3049 – i’m not even going to try this but if he does ring back i will be telling him where to go!

  72. Meg says:

    Just recieved this call. I told the guy that I did not believe he was from Microsoft and that I already had virus and internet protection on my computer. He got very angry and insisted that he could prove I was infected. I felt very uneasy and thought it might be a scam. Glad I am not as stupid as he thought I was.

  73. Tina says:

    August 20th I live in Richmond Hill (just north of Toronto, Canada) I received a call from an INdian sounding man calling from Windows tech support. The line was not good so I hung up phone and he called my number back. Said my computer had a virus that needed to be fixed and we was going to help me. I asked him which computer as we have 6 of them. I also told him that I have virus protection and nothing is reported. He said there was a serious issue and sounded so concerned. I told him to start with instruction while not actually doing anything with my computer just to see where it was going. Line went bad again so I hung up. The Unknown caller tried calling 2 more times and I did not pick up phone. Figured a scam, confirmed with this website. Beware to everyone especially those inexperienced or older who may be concerned for their computer and easily influenced.

  74. Charlie says:

    Hello, I am located in Sweden and received one of these calls moments ago. A gentleman with an Indian accent asked for me by name and told me he is calling from Microsoft in California. He told me that they noticed I have been downloading a virus for the last few weeks everytime I connect to the internet and he was going to show me how to remove it. I asked him to send me an email instead and I would look into it, he told me he is not authorised to do so, so instead I asked for his number and I would call him back. He repeatedly asked me to turn on my computer but eventually gave me the following number +1 3156333 873 when I point blank refused to do anything with my computer . As predicted that number is not for a Microsoft certified technician team or wherever he was claiming to be calling from.

  75. Mark says:

    Yesterday a friend was down loading some software onto my computer. The computer then started to behave oddly; the desk top was gone and the computer seemed to be attempting to check through all the files on the hard disk – at least names appeared across the top of the screen, it then appeared to get stuck after appearing to go through 25000 out of 95000, and the computer became inaccessible. Within an hour I received the same call as described by everyone else on this page.
    I believed the caller but he was unable to get my computer working so nothing went forward – was this just coincidence or something more suspicious?

    • Computer Repair Tips says:

      To be honest, this sounds more like a coincidence. While your friend was using the computer, something went wrong. The black screen checking files appears usually after a restart if the computer was powered off incorrectly or if there is a hard disk fault. Computer repair guys would refer to it as doing a ChkDsk (Check Disk).
      If it is a minor problem, allowing the check disk to complete will sort itself out. But if it stops and won’t continue the check, get your computer checked ASAP by a computer repair guy. The hard disk may be failing and they may have to recover files.

      If it has done this disk check more than twice in a row, resist the temptation to keep trying. You could be ruining what’s left of your hard disk. Make sure you make your repair guy know the full details. You might need a new hard disk.

  76. Sue Balevre says:

    I am recd over 12 of these calls in the last 3 days. The number coming up on ID is 123-456-7890. I told them not to call but they continue and it is driving me nuts. I am also registered on do not call list but the calls are generated from outside the USA. I can hear tons of backgound noise which sounds like a call center. Caller has a voice which sounds Indian.

  77. Adam says:

    We’ve had these calls maybe once or twice in the past, but in the past fortnight we’ve had 5 calls. It sounds like a call centre based in India or somewhere in that part of the world, but the caller gives an English name. They claim to be calling from Microsoft/Windows Technical team.

    I just had a call and the guy said my computer had been hacked. I jokingly pretended that I did not have a computer in this house, nor a laptop. The guy argued with me that I must have, because they have my details (weird logic). He eventually relented that they might have a technical error on their system.

    I don’t know how they got our details, we’re ex-directory, so some 3rd party has probably sold them to these chumps. Their number is withheld, so there is no way of tracking them down, or reporting them to BT (i’m in the UK).

  78. Erica says:

    I live in the states and I just got one of these calls. Guy with an Indian accent called me by my first name and told me he’s from the Windows Service center and they’ve detected a problem with my computer.

    When I asked him to tell me what in the heck he was talking about, because my computer is working fine, and I’ve got tons of anti virus software on it, he got more and more flustered and said some stuff that was hard to follow about needing to fix this problem or else some such dire thing would happen.

    When I told him it sounded like he wanted to hack my computer, he said “Ma’am, if I wanted to hack your computer, I’d do it. I wouldn’t be offering to help you.” LOL

    When I told him I’d never heard of the microsoft service center, he said, is your computer a mac? When I laughed, he hung up.

    Actually, my computer is a pc, but obviously he didn’t really know that. I’d like to know where he got my name. Facebook or some such place?

  79. g1970 says:

    My dad received a call from these people today. He was already forewarned about it being a scam as they had called earlier and he asked them to call back as he was busy. He asked the guy where he was calling from, the guy said Manchester. My dad asked if he was sure and the guy went off on one, asking my dad if he was taking the piss, did he know who Osama Bin Laden was and that my dad was a marked man and would be dead by the end of the week. Unbelievable. I hope karma bites them back REALLY hard!

  80. Nimra says:

    sorry! I meant Thailand, NOT Nigeria!

  81. Nimra says:

    I live in Sweden and so far I’ve got about… 4 calls within this year, most of them had Indian accents but one claimed he was from Nigeria..?
    We got a call this morning who calimed we had virus, my dad picked up the phone and he didn’t know anything about this, and he was about to turn on the computer and follow the instructions, but I told him that it’s a scam and that he should hang up the phone. I saw several videos about this on youtube before any of the calls, thank God!

  82. Nimra says:

    I live in Sweden and so far I’ve got about… 4 calls within this year, the most recent one this morning! My dad picked up the phone and he didn’t know anything about this, and he was about to turn on the computer and follow the instructions, but I told him that it’s a scam and that he should turn off the phone. I saw several videos about this on youtube before any of the calls, phew!

  83. Susie says:

    I received a call (called ID – Private Caller- Out of Area)from a man with a heavy accent, Pakistanian perhaps, that he was from Windows and they had noted that I had viruses on my computer. I told him I didn’t believe him and hung up. He called back and asked me to just listen to him and he would tell me how to take care of my virus problem. I told him to quit calling me or I was going to call the telephone company and report his calls. I got another call from “private caller – out of area” just a few moments ago. I did not answer.

  84. brfox says:

    My husband recd mulitiple calls and allowed access — the website where the scam MS tech support personnel directed him to was: techepc.com/gateways-199

  85. harmony says:

    MY FRIEND GOT THE CALL AND ALMOST FELL FOR IT. THEY GOT HER TO TYPE INF IN THE RUN BOX. AND SAID IT WAS BAD SHE THEN PUT HIM ON HOLD AND CALLED HER BROTHER WHICH TOLD HER TO HANG UP. IS HER COMP AT ANY RISK BY JUST TYPING THE INF ASK HE ASKED?

  86. S Weatherwax says:

    I, too, have been getting these scams – yesterday the man asked me to count the number of error messages and when I told him, he said “Oh, my GOD!” and I thought I had just set off a chain reaction that would kill the internet as we know it! It quickly became obvious that Microsoft wouldn’t call me on a whim, so I hung up. Glad to have the confirmation that it indeed a scam.

  87. Cat says:

    Just had a call from these jokers, chinese man, claiming to be from windows support, reeling off his office address in London, offering to help me fix my corrupt registry. Told him to email some details (without giving him my details) and he was VERY insistant that I logged in to my pc or laptop so he could help. I told him I was too busy and put the phone down…he called me STRAIGHT back which is when I told him in no uncertain terms to stop pestering me and do one. Glad I did after reading this page!! The number he called from came up as 00363059.

  88. Stephanie says:

    I, too, just got a call from a guy with an Indian-sounding accent saying my PC was downloading viruses from the internet. I am living in a non-English-speaking European country and he knew my name, landline, and the fact that I speak English! Where does this info come from? Here’s the funny thing. I let him go on with his script for a few sentences and finally asked (since he has all this info on my PC) what kind of PC I have. He said, “You don’t have access to your computer?” I said, “I don’t HAVE a PC, and I don’t believe a word you’re saying!” And he hung up before I finished! They are obviously targeting English speakers, and are going to great lengths to find them. The problem is that the fact that they AREN’T English speakers gives them away! It was just too unbelievable. I NEVER get English calls from people I don’t know!

  89. Mark says:

    Thanks for the article.

    I just got called (a Saturday morning Aug. 11, 2012) in Sweden. They used the… Your computer is ‘somehow’ reporting critical software or hardware errors to the technical support company, or sending out error messages, and it is in imminent danger of breaking or failing…

    Funny thing was he spoke English (with a somewhat Indian accent) and did not speak Swedish. I quickly said that my wife was not in and that she had her computer with her, so I was unable to answer any of his questions. He set up a time to call back Monday morning.

    I’m so glad that I searched this and found this page.
    He was very convincing.
    Be aware Sweden.

  90. Clivetaff says:

    I’ve just been called by a guy with what I think is an indian accent claiming to be from Microsoft and telling that me that my pc had sent them an error message and he wanted to fix it for me as luck would have my son who works in I.T. took over the call and told him where to go, i dialed 1471 and the number left was 00811133714000002648 so be awhere

  91. Nancy says:

    I got the call for the third time in three months. They keep good notes on me becuase this guy already knew what i was going to say and had a counter reply. I finally told him to stop taking and start listening. I talked over him for 5 minutes repeatedly telling him to stop talking and put me on his “do not call list” (yeah right) he got bold and told me to shut up. Oh god help this poor man becuase he got an ear full from me. Anyway. I have turned it into a game now. who can be the bigger a*hole. So far im winning. I think i will start blowing an airhorn into the phone or let my puppy bark into the receiver next time they call. Dont get scammed. They took advantage of my poor mother and we actually got her money back from the credit card company. I cant tell you enough that Microsoft DOESNT call their customers. I know becuase i KNOW people that work there.

  92. Jean says:

    I think I may have been conned but not in tha same way. I was unable to acces my email and did not want to put all my information onto the given form. I went onto google found a Microsoft support number 0808 159 8763 and was connected to someone. Because you cannot get a number off Microsoft site. They put me onto a technician through http://www.chat123.us who said there were problems that needed rectifying. Said they were from a company called MyTechGurus. All seemed OK. Rang a friend to check which support I needed and he told me to unplug computer from Internet which I did. Don’t knw what damage has been done yet or if they were genuine.

  93. dmrworried says:

    i just got a call from an Indian man who i could barely understand. He said that my computer was reporting problems and they were going to help me fix it.I asked for a call back number and he had to think about it and told me that thier number is 1-201-285-5200 I called it back and it wouldnt ring. He wanted me to press my window button with the R button but I hung up because I had an uneasy feeling about it. Glad I did

  94. Janice says:

    They also use the scam about your certificate being outdated and you need to pay for a new one. Unfortunately I fell for this. I argued repeatedly with them but as others have said they get very cross and insist you are the stupid one for not believing them. I kept saying that is was a scam to them but somehow they convinced me to go forth. How dumb was I!

  95. bruce says:

    If you have time lead them on let them “walk” you through the steps while you sit on your couch no where near your computer and keep saying okay i’m doing it and yes I see it. After you’ve wasted a good 15 mins of their time give it to them, LOL.

  96. alan says:

    I received a call today from an India person telling me that my computer has been hacked into, I told him that no one has hacked my pc he kept insisting that it was, in the end he asked how l knew no one had hacked my pc I told him that the pc is set up to ask me before any connection after that he just hung up the phone.

  97. tracey says:

    i have just received a call from someone guy with an Indian accent claiming he was from Microsoft and saying my computer was sending out error messages . i asked how he called got my number and he said he had all my details from when i registered my laptop. I kept asking him to repeat and he got quite cross. the phone even cut off and he had the cheek to ring me back……we got as far as opening a website which was logmein asking for a 6 digit number i said im not putting anything into the computer he said ok if you dont believe me heres my number the number was 001234589000 i think this was a scam

  98. Ann says:

    Me again! Should I re-install my Norton?

    • Computer Repair Tips says:

      As for the money you have paid, there may not be much you can do unless maybe your credit card company can help.
      Personally I’m not a big fan of Norton at the best of times but it’s better than nothing at all. It depends what they have installed, you don’t want 2 anti-virus programs installed at the same time or your computer may grind to a halt. But one option would be to uninstall their software (whatever it is), reinstall Norton (if you have the license details to activate it) and run full scans.

  99. Ann says:

    I believe I have been conned. I paid £149.99 today for security they said I needed as Norton was incompatible with my version of windows. What can I do now?

  100. Ann says:

    I know I have been conned after reading these posts .I paid out £149.99 today.They removed all my Norton protection, claiming it was incompatible with my compter. What can I do now?

  101. Jools says:

    Like Ben Bratby I fell for this scam on 3/8/12. Phone call; man saying he was from Microsoft; ‘I had lots of viruses on my computer.’ Conned into opening an account with Western Union & paid out £105. He sounded so convincing & had the cheek to call me back to ask if I was satisfied ! Person who picked up money is MD IRSHAD in India. The number I was called from is now logged with Merseyside Police, UK & Western Union. This has caused me a lot of stress. BE WARNED!

  102. Sarah says:

    I just got a call for an indian gentelman claiming i had virus coming through my phone line!! asked me to look through events, i spotted it could have been a scam and i told him i had no warnings (even though i did!!) I asked then asked him his name and number in case i do need assistance in future he said he worked for crontum CChis name was Aaron 020 358 271 99, i have rang the number as it does go through to crontum cc support

  103. xXMaNdAXx says:

    I’m actually from Malta and have received this call several times.. lately been getting the call every week! my dad told them off today as this is becoming a routine it seems. I’ve only spoken to the person calling the first time they did call.. and I realised immediately this was a scam when he was telling me to download a certain program so I told them I wasn’t interested. I’d like to know though, from where do they get the number? i usually shop online very frequently and I hope it doesn’t have to do with that.

    Thanks

  104. Ben Bratby says:

    I sadly have actually just fallen for this…. However I couldn’t afford the cost, so the guy has password locked my computer. Telling me it’s for my own good and that I should ring back when I have the founds… I feel like such an idiot.

  105. elizabeth says:

    i had a call like this today – guy from India very hard to hear or understand asked what version of windows I was using.. didn’t tell him but asked him what the trouble was he was very persistant but told him I didn’t have the time to look now but to give me a number to call him back. He kept on and on about me pressing my start button> then to go to my computer and to tell him which version of Windows.. I then told him that I wasn;t about to divulge information to someone purporting to be from MS and asked him why he was trying to scare me… (it did scare me! but I didn;t press any buttons or told him which version of Windows I had) I acted dumb and told him I didn’t understand computers… He then told that he couldn;t getinto my computer, but that I had to follow his instructions.. Like i was going to do that!! not in a million years. He then said that I was an ‘intelligent person’ but that if I wasn’t careful, my pc would be infected..
    he gave his name as Nick Robinson and his number as 020 323 92798.
    I immediately googled XP and Vista infection calls from India and found this site.
    what assholes!!
    anyone reading this ..NO NOT GIVE THESE PEOPLE ANY INFORMATION

  106. Sharon says:

    I can’t believe we have just been scammed in this way. We didn’t pay for anything but we handed over our computer number and ip address :(

  107. Clark Kent says:

    They get quite angry at the use of the word “Fudu” It’s quite an insulting word for them to hear. I managed to get it in 5 times before they hung up.
    Don’t even attempt to use “Call Barring” facilities that phone companies charge you for, as they get around this.
    The TPS can not help either. Apparently they use a computer based calling service which will not leave a footprint.

  108. Claudia says:

    I get at least 2 or 3 of these calls each week. After they introduce themselves I respond with “Excellent! I’m an IT consultant and I’d be most interested to hear what you have to say about my computer.” They then very rudely hang up on me for some reason…

  109. Gail says:

    Ive had 3 calls so far. I’m lucky to work in computers so I have just abused them and hung up. Next time I’m going to tell them I don’t have a computer and see what happens. LOL

  110. Kathleen R. Stefanik says:

    Received a strange phone call from a foreign gentlemen indicating I had a virus working out of my computer and that he was from Microsoft. He wanted to walk me through the removing of the virus over the phone and never got to the part about credit card or money. I have his phone number from call back. I believe it is a scam.

  111. Mathieu says:

    I got 2 calls from people claiming to be from Windows Technical Support. I asked the first one his windows employee number, and told him that microsoft never call people, and hanged up.

    Second one, told him that I was a Linux user and asked why he was calling me, and just hanged up.

    I wish I could find a way to block their numbers…

  112. Jenn says:

    Got a call this morning from a Woman (think Indian accent) Said She is with Microsoft and it has come to their attention my computer is sending out error messages and spam indicating that my computer has been infected by viruses and malware.
    I said, “Excuse me” she then said it all over again word for word. I then said ” I am not undertsanding you” so she went to say it all again. I stopped her and said, ” I find it hard to believe that you work for Microsoft and that you have any information on my computer” She responded I can give you your IP number to prove it. I told her she is a scam and hung up.

    I find it interesting my caller id did not pick up the number and her call is not showing in my call log. It is as if she left no prints behind.

  113. Mediacat says:

    Very interesting article. Have done everything mentioned but they still persist in their calling. Received seventeen calls so far from them even though have not fallen for the scam and we have clearly informed them we are not interested and are aware of what they are doing. Any suggestions as to how to halt their calling once and for all?

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