Geeks2U Promise
We guarantee you'll love our fast, friendly service - or we'll refund your money.  
133,572 Happy Customers & Counting
Need tech support?
1300 769 448
Extended hours, 7 days a week
Home  /  geekspeak  /  Protect Yourself from Phone Scammers "from the internet"

Protect Yourself from Phone Scammers "from the internet"

Tags : 

Online Security

“Hi, I’m calling from Microsoft customer care, and we’ve detected”¦”

CLICK.

That click is one of the simplest and best things you can do if Microsoft “comes calling”, as happens with an alarming frequency these days. It’s quite likely you’ve had one of these scam callers, often telling you that they’ve detected a “serious problem” with your computer, and offering to fix it. It sounds quite good; they talk you through a sample scenario, often bringing up legitimate tools like the Microsoft Event Viewer, or sending you to web sites that appear to reveal alarming “truths” about your computer.

Except that it’s all rubbish. Not Microsoft — they still do fine software — but the idea that they’ll call you up out of the blue with an alarming tale about your computer. It’s not a new scam, but it’s one that can reap rich rewards for the scammers, be it with remote control of your computer (for seeding further malware, remote attacks on other computers or serving up all sorts of unsavoury content), theft of your identity or informing you (once they’ve compromised your system) that they can only fix it “for a small fee”. All those rich rewards might be nice for the scammers, but they’re in no way nice for you.

That’s why the click of hanging up is so powerful. Annoyingly, they’re usually calling from offshore, so the protections of something like the Do Not Call Register (https://www.donotcall.gov.au/) don’t easily apply. Hanging up returns the balance of power to you. If you’re notably bored and have a bit of time there is some entertainment to be had stringing them along, as long as you don’t actually follow their commands; that’s also got a small amount of utility in that it disrupts their dodgy business model, lessening the number of other people they can pester.

Still, hanging up makes a lot of sense; if you’re at all genuinely concerned you can always put your own call through to Microsoft (or any other company they pretend to be, whether it’s your bank or software provider) after looking up the correct number yourself. The scam works because — as so many do — it trades on creating a sense of panic in you. We’ve all had times when (even on the fastest PCs) we’ve wished they would run a little faster, and a common ploy is to suggest that it’s running slow because it’s got “serious problems”. Given that one caller (who I was stringing along for research purposes) recently told me that my computer might catch fire because of malware, I could easily ignore their concerns, and their attempt to get me to panic.


Recent News

One of the key issues for technology is power, and as we’ve shifted to more portable gadgets – from mobile phones and tablets to laptops replacing desktops – keeping them charged has become a more complex affair. Your phone might have one charging plug, your tablet another, and your laptop one more again, leading to

As you’re probably aware, Facebook’s recently been making some very big changes to the way Australians use its services. Specifically, and in reaction to the media bargaining laws before Parliament, Facebook opted to instead block any Australian user from sharing news from any Australian or International news source, as well as blocking international users from

Your hard drive is one of the most important parts of your computer or laptop because it’s where everything is stored. Your hard drive stores all your programs, applications, files and photos, so it can be very stressful and frustrating if something goes wrong. Almost everyone encounters a hard drive error at least once in

Recently, Elon Musk – yes, that Elon Musk, of Tesla and SpaceX fame – launched a new product in Australia, and indeed globally. Starlink is a satellite based broadband service that spans the globe, technically delivering fast broadband to just about anywhere. While Starlink had been in limited release for a North American audience since

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Learn about the precautions we are taking and our new contactless pick-up and remote service options. Read More
Get help setting up your home office or homework area today. Learn More