Microsoft guidelines to fake telephone support calls.

telephone scam
The official word from Microsoft
  • Microsoft continues to receive reports of scammers making phone calls to consumers pretending to represent a legitimate company, such as Microsoft or our partners, in an effort to trick a victim into purchasing support services, software licenses, download fake security software or allowing remote access to their computers.  These scams can not only cost victims money, but can compromise the security of their computers.
  • Please exercise caution when you receive a call like this and be aware that Microsoft and our partners do not make unsolicited phone calls (i.e. cold calls) to charge you for any computer security or software fixes.
    • Note: There are some legitimate instances where Microsoft will work with your internet service provider to reach out to customers to fix a known malware-infected computer – such as the recent cleanup effort begun in our botnet takedown actions (see: http://www.microsoft.com/botnets) – but any such call would be done by someone with whom you can verify you already are a customer.  You will never receive a legitimate call from Microsoft or our partners to charge you for computer fixes.
  • If you receive a cold call like this:
    • *Do not* purchase any software or services.
    • Ask up front if there is a fee or subscription associated with the “service” (which is an immediate sign of a scam).
    • Never hand over control of your computer to a third party unless you can confirm with certainty that it is a legitimate representative of a computer support team with whom you are already a customer.   If you are receiving a call which claims to follow up on an existing customer support request you initiated (whether or not you truly previously contacted support for any reason), you can verify legitimacy of the call by independently looking up the proper contact information for the support team in your region and contacting that support team directly about your case.  Do not take the contact information or account number given to you by a caller and assume it is legitimate unless it is provided in the course of a phone call or chat that *you* initiated and you are certain you are talking to a legitimate support team at that given moment.
    • Take the caller’s information down and immediately report it to your local authorities.
    • If you provided the caller your credit card or financial information, immediately contact your credit card company or bank for that account to mitigate fraudulent charges.
  • If you’re concerned about a virus or spyware on your PC, you can run our free online Safety Scanner by going to http://safety.live.com. Running this scanner detects and removes many of the issues that customers frequently call Microsoft about.
  • If you already ran the Safety Scanner and you still have concerns about your PC, you can contact Microsoft to get assisted support:
    • For US and UK: Go to http://support.microsoft.com/security, click on the “Get Help Now” icon.  Within the “Consumer Security Support Center” page, submit a case by selecting the scenario, “I think my computer is infected”, and following the online workflow.
    • For Australia: You can contact Customer Service by calling Toll-free number  13 20 58
  • Microsoft is investigating the cases reported to us by customers and we will consider legal action where appropriate, as we have in other Internet scam and scareware cases to date.
  • We continue to encourage consumers to exercise caution of scams and follow the guidance found at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/securitytipstalk/archive/2010/03/09/don-t-fall-for-phony-phone-tech-support.aspx and http://www.microsoft.com/security/default.aspx.

·        These are not legitimate calls from Microsoft or our partners.  If you receive one of these calls, take the caller’s information down and immediately report it to your local authorities.  If you provided the caller your credit card or financial information, immediately contact your credit card company or bank for that account to mitigate fraudulent charges.