View Full Version : the Microsoft phone scam
12-26-2012, 05:17 AM
So I'm sure you've all heard about this scam that's been running for a while -- someone purporting to be from Microsoft phones you up and offers advice about how you can improve your computer.
Well somehow we were talking about computers after Christmas dinner and my father happens to mention "I got a call from some really helpful techie people about improving my computer's performance ..." Yup, he fell for it. :rolleyes: He swears they actually improved his computer. For a mere $375. Honestly, for a man who spends about 12 hours a week looking for the best grocery deals, you'd think he'd be more sensible.
Anyway, I've sent him all the info for running malware checks, and told him to change all his passwords etc. -- and the credit card he used. Fortunately it was only a week ago and he hasn't done much on the computer since.
But I was wondering if anyone has heard of any other poor hapless folks who have fallen for this scam. Is it "just" about overcharging for an service that's not even necessary? (which of course is bad enough ...) Or are they mining credit card and id info too?
No reason there can't be more than one scam of this kind operating of course, but just thought I'd ask. TIA
*sigh* Parenting your parents is no fun.
12-26-2012, 07:58 AM
My dad nearly fell for it. My mom almost had to take the phone away from him so that he'd stop talking to the guy. We had both answered that call before and hung up fairly quickly when we figured it out. It was weird because my dad is usually the last person to fall for those things.
12-27-2012, 02:20 AM
My hubby and I take turns giving the people a difficult time with that scam. One time hubby let them go on for a bit before he it into them about it being a scam. One time I told them that it was my job to take care of our computers and to stop calling. Another time, hubby got really testy with them and told them where to go. My second time I simply told them they were a scam and never call me back again or I would report them. Most times when they try to call now, they don't even bother to say hello after we say hello. They simply hang up.
12-27-2012, 02:52 AM
what I love about bundling our cable, phone and internet, is that I can see the number on the TV screen. Unless it is a number I know, or a name that I know, we do not answer. If they leave a message, we get an email about the content of the message..
12-27-2012, 02:12 PM
The most recent time they called me, after a pause, the woman said "this is Jackie from the Windows Technical Department" - I just said please remove my number from your calling list and do not EVER call me again :)
On the call display this one came up as 000-000-0000 which means there's no way you can block the call :(
In the past they've usually referred to being from Microsoft. The calls seem to target different geographic areas in waves, based on the complaints I read/see from friends.
They also seem to "specialize" in gullible older people.
Some friends have resorted to just replying "I don't own a computer" or "I own an Apple", before hanging up.
12-27-2012, 02:57 PM
if it comes up as a 000-000-0000 I definitely do not answer. If they can't provide a number then either they are a scammer, a solicitation for charity (or not charity) or a political call. Nope, no way do I answer. Same way with my cell phone. If it is a number I don't recognize, I don't answer and if they are a true caller for me, they will leave a message.
OT - I hate it when people answer their cell phones no matter what they are doing - while in a check-out line or at a register. What is so freaking important that you can wait a few minutes to answer
12-27-2012, 04:31 PM
Interesting. A lot of the responses in this thread are Canadian. So we seem to be targets! I get these calls from time to time. When they say that they are calling about my computer, I ask them how they know that I have one and I get very loud and angry. Funny, none of these guys want to talk to a loud, angry old broad! I wonder if Americans are getting this to the same extent as we are. Probably.
12-27-2012, 06:16 PM
My sister-in-law got this call while I was over. English isn't her first language and the guy calling had a thick accent and she couldn't understand him so she gave the phone to me. He was really aggressive and it was obviously not a real microsoft call so I just hung up. I didn't realize this was still going on.
12-27-2012, 10:28 PM
Generally I don't answer the 000-000-0000 numbers either. This one just happened to catch me near the only phone in the house without call display and I was expecting a call from someone so I picked it up without checking. I've become quite good about screening out any unknown numbers, especially when they're even from an unknown area code :)
12-27-2012, 11:17 PM
Daughter got the call too. She hung up on them.
12-28-2012, 12:22 AM
My dad nearly fell for it too, which is funny considering I'd think he wouldn't have, but he had been in touch with Microsoft about something, so! My mom would be the type to. Dad was really puzzled and called Microsoft; he said they didn't seem to care much.
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