Windows User Loses $800 (€615) in Microsoft Phone Scam

Phone scammers ask users for credit card information

By on November 27th, 2012 10:38 GMT

Despite Microsoft’s efforts to teach its customers how to avoid phone scams, Windows users continue to fall victims of malicious attempts all over the world.

A Greenville, N.C. Windows user got a phone call on Saturday from someone who claimed to be working for Microsoft. The scammer asked the woman whether she had updated the operating system, claiming that otherwise the PC could crash, erasing all data.

“When I answered it he right off the bat was so convincing that he convinced me, but still in the back of my mind I knew, I felt like it was not right,” the woman told WNCT.com.

The phone scammer then offered to provide remote assistance in order to deploy the updates and make sure the data is on the safe side, but asked in return for credit card information.

The woman, who didn’t want to be identified, offered all bank details and waited for her computer to be patched up.

“He scammed me! So this morning I went on and my husband contacted the bank and looked at our transactions that were pending. And there were $819 that we did not take out of our account. To make it also look legit when it came through on the bank statement it was on a Western Union number,” she explained.

While this is nothing more than a typical phone scam, Microsoft emphasizes that no company employee would ever ask for credit card information by phone, so computer users must refuse to provide these details to those requesting them for remote services.

“As families live more of their lives online, it’s becoming increasingly important that they are armed with information and tools to help them stay safer online. At Microsoft, we are committed to helping protect customers’ privacy and enabling a more trustworthy online experience,” Jacqueline Beauchere, director of Trustworthy Computing Privacy, Accessibility & Online Safety Communications at Microsoft, told us in an interview last month.

Read more on Microsoft’ security efforts in an exclusive interview with Jacqueline Beauchere on Softpedia.

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