- There has been a big increase in fake Microsoft phone calls being made in the Tavistock area of Devon.
- Criminals posing as Microsoft staff attempt to gain remote access to the victim’s computer.
- It is suspected that they are working through the “01822” number range.
- The average age of a victim is 59 with an average reported loss of £210. 91% were white (English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish, British). 53% were female (statistics from Action Fraud).
How the Scam Works
- The scammer will cold call and ask for your name and state that they are a computer security expert from Microsoft or other legitimate company.
- They will mention that your PC or laptop has been infected with malware and that they can help solve the problem.
- Depending on the variation of the scam, some will ask you to give remote access to your computer (used by genuine Microsoft technicians to fix systems) after which the scammer will steal personal data.
- Others will supply you with a link to download a tool which they say will ‘fix’ the problem. This will almost certainly be malware which gives the criminal an alternative route into your computer.
- A more simplistic scam is to offer lifetime ‘protection’ against malware they are pretending is on your computer.
Protect yourself from phone scams:
- Do not allow remote access to your PC or laptop.
- Hang up the phone immediately when you identify that the call is uninvited.
- Never reveal passwords, access code or pin numbers.
- Microsoft or someone acting on their behalf will not make personal phone calls to you.
If you want to learn about Cyber Security, check out our new Cyber Security & Privacy Essentials course below.
Thanks to the Gloucestershire Police for alerting us to this information.
Action Fraud is the UK’s national fraud and internet crime reporting centre, providing a central point of contact for information about fraud and financially motivated internet crime