How it works

You receive a phone call from someone claiming to be a representative from Microsoft. The caller tells you the company has detected a virus or malware on your computer and convinces you to allow him/her remote access to your computer to fix the problem. From there, scammers may ask for your credit card information so they can charge you for fake repair services, security software or a monthly maintenance contract. Even worse, they may install malware onto your computer that gives them access to user names and passwords for your accounts. 

What you should know

  • Microsoft does not make unsolicited calls to consumers about viruses, security issues or software fixes. If you get such a phone call, it’s a scam.
  • Do not give control of your computer to a third party who calls you out of the blue.
  • Never provide your credit card or financial information to someone who calls and claims to be from tech support.
  • Don’t click on pop-up ads that claim your computer is infected with a virus, and do not call the number listed on those ads.
  • If you are in need of technical support, it is best to contact an established electronics or computer retailer.