January 17th, 2015

The “Microsoft” phone scam that’s nothing – and everything – to worry about

This scam has been doing the rounds for a while now but seems to be picking up again at the moment. We’re getting regular calls ourselves at the moment.

What happens is you get a phone call from someone pretending to be from Microsoft. They’re not. They’ll often be quite officious or even aggressive.

There’s different varieties of the scam. Some will ask you to check if a particular file is on your computer. When you discover it is they’ll ask for your credit card details to solve the problem. Of course, the file they’ve directed you to is one that should be there.

Other scammers will direct you to a webpage that will infect your computer. Some will ask you to download software or even to give them remote control of your computer. The outcome is the same. You’ve massively compromised the security of your computer and personal details.

A disaster.

Fortunately, it’s a problem that’s easy to avoid. The scammers have just got your name and number form a database. All they’re doing is calling people until they get some poor soul who’s taken in. So the answer is just hang up. Straight away. Don’t bother being polite. Don’t even bother being rude. Hang up and get on with your day.

And there’s one last thing you can do. Tell your friends and family about it as the scam relies on people being taken in. The more people know about it the less effective it is.

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John manages a wide portfolio of owner managed businesses and oversees the smooth operation of the firm’s payroll department.

After obtaining his degree in mathematics from the University of Liverpool, John joined Jonathan Ford & Co in 2004 and qualified as a chartered accountant four years later. John likes to keep abreast of developments in tax and accounting and is responsible for the mentoring of junior staff.

Outside of work, John enjoys keeping fit and is a Liverpool FC season ticket holder.

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