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Don’t Get Hung Up by Phony Microsoft Callers

Logo for ColesBBB serving Central Indiana, a Coles client, is urging consumers to hang up the phone if they get a call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft.


In this scam, the “Microsoft caller” randomly calls consumers and tells them their computer has a virus or needs updates. The consumer goes to their computer and starts following the instructions given. Then, the caller either asks for your credit card information so the consumer can “pay” for the needed software, or the caller says they will “fix” your computer if you follow these instructions.


Hang up on scammers

First, don’t give the caller your credit card number for this service because you will probably never receive it. Second, don’t follow their instructions. They could be putting malicious software on your computer or gaining access to your computer.


“This type of scam is common,” said Tim Maniscalo, president and CEO of BBB serving Central Indiana. “Don’t give your personal or credit card information to anyone over the phone, unless you know they are legitimate and need the information. Make sure to hang up on scammers.”


Microsoft has created a page on its website about this scam. It states, “Neither Microsoft nor our partners make unsolicited phone calls (also known as cold calls) to charge you for computer security or software fixes.”


Keep you and your information safe

Here are the tips from BBB on what to know about your computer:

  • If you are concerned your computer may be exposed to viruses or other security threats, contact your service provider directly. Some providers offer free tools that can help detect and remove viruses.
  • To help protect your computer from viruses, make sure you have virus detection software installed on your computer. This software can help identify if a virus appears on your computer.
  • Never give out personal information over the phone to someone you don’t know. If the caller claims there is a security threat to your computer, hang up and call your computer company directly.
  • If your computer does need repair, find a company you can trust by finding a BBB Accredited Business here.
  • To prevent these calls, register your phone number with the Indiana Attorney General’s Do Not Call List by calling 1-888-834-9969 or filling in this form: www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/2445.htm.


Be smart, follow your instinct

As always, never give personal information to unknown callers, and in this case, don’t give anyone access to your computer. Be smart, be on the defensive, ask questions and follow your instinct.


If you have received one of these calls, report it to the Indiana Attorney General’s Telephone Privacy Hotline at 1-888-834-9969.


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