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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Reminder: Avoid tech support phone scams

We've recently had a number of reports on campus of people receiving calls from "technical support" (often "Microsoft Technical Support") alerting users to supposed problems with their computers.  If you receive such a call - don't fall for them.  Check with your technical support or help@umn.edu if you have any doubts.

The word from Microsoft:

Avoid tech support phone scams
Cybercriminals don't just send fraudulent email messages and set up fake websites. They might also call you on the telephone and claim to be from Microsoft. They might offer to help solve your computer problems or sell you a software license. Once they have access to your computer, they can do the following:
  • Trick you into installing malicious software that could capture sensitive data, such as online banking user names and passwords. They might also then charge you to remove this software.
  • Convince you to visit legitimate websites (like www.ammyy.com) to download software that will allow them to take control of your computer remotely and adjust settings to leave your computer vulnerable.
  • Request credit card information so they can bill you for phony services.
  • Direct you to fraudulent websites and ask you to enter credit card and other personal or financial information there.
Neither Microsoft nor our partners make unsolicited phone calls (also known as cold calls) to charge you for computer security or software fixes.
See also the Snope.com page (http://www.snopes.com/fraud/telephone/microsoft.asp) about such scams.

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