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Questions and Answers about the ‘Microsoft’ virus phone scam



This article deals with some Questions and Answers relating to the Microsoft virus phone scam.

I had promised in an earlier article to post some Questions and Answers about the scam where a caller claims they are from ‘Microsoft’ and you have some kind of virus on your computer.  So here it is.

I will add more Questions and Answers soon, but here are some of the common questions that people ask.

Q. Are they calling from Microsoft?

A. No.  Microsoft absolutely do not make any calls of these kind whatsoever.  The point of the Microsoft virus phone scam is that the caller tried to make you believe that they are from Microsoft or an associated company by using recognisable words like Windows, Microsoft or similar.

Q. How did they get my telephone number?

A. It is not completely clear how they are getting hold of telephone numbers.  Some people have suggested they are just reading through the phone book.  But there are cases where people’s phone numbers are ex-directory or newly setup telephone numbers, and they still receive calls.

Q. How do they know my name and address?

A. This would be easily explained if they were reading through a phone book or similar directory.  Even online copies of the phone book list names and addresses.

Q. I have signed up not to get marketing phone calls – Why are they still ringing me?

A. In every country there is an optional signup service whereby you can request not to get any marketing telephone calls.  For example, in the UK it is called the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and it is a simple matter of adding your telephone number to their list and reputable marketers are bound to an agreement not to call you.  However, even if you are signed up for these services, it appears you can still get called by these people.  These scammers involved in the Microsoft virus phone scam are in breach of these agreements and they don’t care.

Q. I followed their instructions about checking things but I didn’t download any remote control software.  Am I at risk?

A. Probably not.  If you did not download any remote control software, or anything else they asked you to go to on the internet, there is very little possibility that they could have transferred any virus or malware to your computer.  But there’s no harm in running a simple scan with your anti-virus program and MalwareBytes Anti-Malware.

Q. They took control of my computer with remote control software.  Am I at risk?  What do I do now?

A. Yes.  Once you have allowed them to have remote control access of your computer, you have no idea what they might have been doing.  It is possible that they could have been stealing information from your computer, login details for websites like Amazon/ebay/etc or online banking information.  They could also have installed further viruses or malware that can sit there and steal further information over weeks and months while you use the computer yourself.

Depending on which remote control software they used, check your Add/Remove Programs list and see if there is anything new related to their remote control software.  If there is, uninstall it.

Follow the steps in my Computer Virus and Malware Removal Guide.

If in doubt, consider getting a computer repair guy to perform a full check on your computer.

Only when you are happy that there is no infection, consider changing any important website logins and/or online banking details.  You don’t want to change these if there is a chance you are still infected, as the virus or malware could just send the new details to the scammers.

Some people have mentioned doing a full wipe and re-install of Windows.  I think that’s a bit excessive!

Q. They took control of my computer and now my desktop icons have disappeared.  How do I get them back?

A. They are usually just hidden.  Follow my guide for getting your desktop icons back.




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24 Comments:

  1. Today I received an email scam that feels to be connected. The audio warns I must call Microsoft to clear my infected computer as hackers have gotten my passwords and credit card information. I shut down my computer.

    Am I at risk?
    What should I do to ensure all is clean and clear with my lap top?

  2. They just called me today from this phone number 347-043-6764, the asked me to access to their website www mypchelp me. Be careful with them

  3. Opened my laptop warning I had a virus to call Microsoft number. I did and he claimed to have fixed it for a hefty price. How dumb I was. His number was a 855 number anyone else talked to them? Cost for lifetime service almost $ 500 I changed bank acct. Lit’s of trouble ensued

  4. here is a new number. they are calling from Los Angeles. 213-217-9999. don’t answer this call.

  5. They just called and I strung them along. Basically do whatever you can to frustrate them. I was slow and pretended to have a speech impediment lol. I told them that the web page they sent me to said “This site has been taken by Microsoft, and your IP address is being logged and sent to the FBI.” They handed the phone around to several of their buddies. They also wanted me to go to another site (support.me) besides their bogus one (mypchelp.us). DO NOT GO TO ANY OF THESE SITES. When I told them that the “support” site also said it was directing me to the FBI, one of them said “we are smarter than you and we will get you”. At which point I cursed them out in 3 languages and hung up. Total call time was 22 minutes.

    • I did the same as Bill. I kept them on the phone as long as I could, asking them to repeat themselves at various times. When I told them that I didn’t want anyone in my computer they asked me how I was going to fix the computer. I mentioned that they told me that outside forces had access to my computer so why should I let them do the same since they called me. The Indian guy (of course) speaking to me started to get angry and told me that he doesn’t need my money. After that it got ugly and hilarious.

  6. 1/9/15: spoke to unknown microsoft support person who turned to be a hoax.
    Caller id showed Phone # as 503-020-1453.
    Eventvwr showed lots of critical errors.
    Went to http://www.mypchelp.us where shared for about 10 seconds or less when I shutdown my laptop by power off. Clicked on Team Viewer button and created share session. I had a Word doc open that had PII information.
    I turned the laptop back on and used mcafee antivirus, malware etc (thru Cox Cable), and IOBit’s Advanced System Care Ultimate.

    McAfee said to turn off PC because of a Trojan Horse that would be fixed on shutdown.

    today 1/18/15, laptop seems to be working fine and I run all the protection software I have daily.

    What could the scammer have gotten from my laptop or loaded to my laptop for the present and future, and please give any advice to do.

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  10. Just received a call today 9/19/2014 from someone claiming that they work for “iFix” they have been receiving error reports from my computer and asked me to open the even viewer. They then asked me to do a command run line on “www.mypchelp.us” I then asked him if he thought I was stupid and he proceeded to say you can fix it and hung up. Just wanted to throw out there of the URL they are using today. “www.mypchelp.us”

  11. This has happened to a friend of mine and they are now locked out of their desktop, any ideas what to do…..
    thanks

  12. Had these calls, first think I asked was for them to Prove they were from Microsoft, the best they could do was “because I said I am”. They said “your computer is infected” and I asked what version of Windows was reporting the problem (I have three computers each running a different version), they said the report didn’t include that information. I asked for the computer MAC address, they didn’t have that. Most recent call from “them” was last month, a woman with an Indian accent, but also had one that sounded american african american

  13. I’m a Mac user so when I got this call I told them so and hung up. Over the last two years I’ve received about 8 more calls. It took a few before I realized that they were probly scammers. I never let them “fix” my pc . But I was irritated by the calls. So I started to play along to try to find out who they were and got an 800 # , and then finally I played along as if I had a pc and pretended to click on what they told me to, and they kept saying they weren’t seeing anything and I kept leading them on and I think they even got a supervisor involved, and eventually after wasting THEIR time they hung up on me and haven’t called back yet!

  14. Just rec’d unsolicited call from “Microsoft” mentioning multiple virus problems. Something didn’t sound right so I hung up immediately. So glad you have info here. Thanks

  15. I’ve just had one of these calls and I had a bit of a go and said I was not going to switch my`computer on as I didn’t know who he was. He rang off pretty quickly after that.

  16. I have received several of these calls in the last few days. received 6 today and hung up immediately after hearing the heavy accent. Took the last call and informed him that my son was a professional with a well known computer company and any problems that I had he would take care of. The man became quite upset and called me some very ugly names. This is frightening! Caller Id just says unknown caller. They have my name so I am sure they know where I live.

  17. I got a call this week. They called back when I wasn’t there the first time. When I refused to go along and said I suspected a scam, they told me that they would report me(since my computer viruses were supposedly causing many other computers to crash and I was supposedly making “fools” of other computer users). When I said go ahead, report me, they said somebody would visit my house within the hour since I wouldn’t cooperate and it was a serious problem. When I asked who would visit, they said the FBI would be there in an hour, (but they had trouble pronouncing FBI). At that point I hung up.
    I reported the incident to the real Microsoft, and called my local Sheriff’s office. (who immediately said noone would visit my house and explained the same things that are on this www page.)
    The caller had my last name, first initial and phone number. They might have somehow gotten that off one of my email accounts, but I knew Microsoft never had the phone number they called me on. The sheriff told me they often try to scare people. But I’m posting this since I didn’t see anyone here mention the FBI scare tactic. They brought up the FBI after I told them I would be calling Microsoft and reporting this call.

  18. I just got such a call regarding a virus I had. Interestingly enough, I did get a virus this morning and had just returned from the computer shop which removed it. The caller with foreign accent with many voices in the background asked me to connect to http://www.chat123.us to fix the virus.

    I was immediately suspicious and after a few seconds told him, “I’m getting a 404 Error.” He said try again and tell me exactly what’s on the screen. Again waiting a few seconds I said, “I’m getting nothing – the virus has wiped out my internet connection.” I thanked him for calling, told him I’d connect when the connection came back and hung up.

  19. I’ve received three of these phone calls in the last week. Same deal every time. But now that I know its a fraud i kinda play with them. I try and get as much info. as I can from them…name of their company, website, phone number, etc.
    I easily got rid of him by saying that because of all the “malicious” files on my computer that I was going to put my computer back in the box and return it to the store. He said , Bye, bye very quickly after that. I live in Oregon and was called last week… May of 2013.

  20. I got the call today 12/5/12 at 2PM on my landline in Reading, PA. My caller ID reflected Skype user# 661-748-0240. The caller had a strong foreign accent said he represented Microsoft for W7&8, stating that my PC had a fatal virus, and asked me to log on my PC to assist him in removing it. I explained that my PC was working fine, had reliable AV SW reflecting no Virus alerts. He then responded that it was an undetected Malware infection not Virus, ah but didn’t know my AV SW was also for Malware. This confirmed for me that it was a scam, so I tried to get more info to report it, asking him to provide his Company Name & location, provide a callback number, and get his supervisor on the line. He said company name was PC Gear, then asked if I was ready to write down the phone number…I said yes…gee that’s when the line disconnected…hmmm.

  21. Pingback: “Microsoft” calls and says virus is on your comupter | jjvideo25.com

  22. Wife took the call today. She called me at work and said she just got a call from someone at “Micro-Tech” regarding the viruses on our computer. She said the caller sounded like they were from India and that he gave her a 1-800-231-8572. My wife said she instructed to ask for Sam Johnson so I called the number usinga a land line and it did connect to a live person but there was so much static on the line it either disconnected or the person hung-upon me.

  23. Do the scammers know my address? What do I do if they come to my house?

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