Microsoft, the US software giant, is once again taking legal actions against the scammers that allege to be part of Microsoft support team and dupe people into buying technology support.
Microsoft says that it has been receiving more and more complains about the tech support scams that have been running on for almost a decade. It stated that they have received more than 65000 complains since May and has decided to take on several firms that have been using their brand names to sell their tech support services.
Several people have fallen victims across North America, UK and Australia. Call centers from overseas call people and make them believe they have virus in their computers. Non tech savvy people who have very little or no knowledge of computers often fall prey to them. They give access to these scammers who then take control over the people’s computer remotely.
People have been advised to be careful of who they give access to. Many scammers and call centers say they are associated with or calling from Microsoft, Norton and more to win a bit of confidence of people and sell them there worthless services. Giving access to someone you don’t know will make your personal and financial information vulnerable.
Even the older people are not spared by these companies. Older people are, unsurprisingly, the most vulnerable to these tech support fraudsters.
The tech support companies call people to buy their, often worthless, tech support subscription and in some cases when an access is provided to the computers malwares are installed, too. Microsoft has requested to be careful during the holiday season as it is the most popular time for scammers. This is the time when more people are engaged in online shopping activity and charity donations.
The US FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has filed a legal case in Florida, last month, against a company that used false adverts to scare people into thinking they have a virus in their laptops or desktops and sell worthless services.
National Trading Standards, UK, has also taken legal action against a Luton resident, Mohammad Khalid Jamil, who hired Indian call center to falsely realize that they their computers had a serious problem. He has received a four-month suspended jail sentence and was fined £5,665 compensation and £13,929 in prosecution costs.
Microsoft has advised people to be more vigilant. Some tips issued to people are:
1) Ask if there are any charges or any sort of subscription for the service. If there is, do not entertain such calls and hang up, immediately.
2) Never give control of your computer to any third party unless you are sure about the legitimacy of the company and the person who is calling you belongs to the company you are already with as a customer.
3) Note down the caller’s information and report to the local authority in case you have any doubts.
4) Never provide any financial information or credit card details to anyone claiming to be from Microsoft tech support.