How to Combat Microsoft Tech Support Scam Calls

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How to Combat Microsoft Tech Support Scam Calls

By Richard Hay for Windows Observer

About 10 days ago I shared with you a story about a friend’s encounter with a popular phone scam that includes a caller claiming to be from Microsoft. The intent of the phone scam call is to either gain access to your computer or to personal information such as a credit card, etc.

Well your response to that post has been tremendous over the last 10 days. As of this posting that story has 61 comments, 204 Facebook Likes and has been viewed by over 17,700 people.

Now I know those are not Earth shattering numbers from the big sites but for WindowsObserver.com they are the highest ever for any single post in the same period of time.

Based on reading from the comments that have been left on the story this scam is an issue that has impacted many of you and/or your family members. Many of you have also gotten very creative in how you have dealt with the scam calls.

Here are a few of the ideas shared in the comments:

I do my best to keep them on the phone for as long as possible. mis-understand anything they ask me to do If asked to type “www.” I type “wwwdot”.

Just leave them high & dry by telling them your computer is an Apple Mac.

I do pick up and answer by saying “International Telephone Fraud Department – please hold the line while we trace your call.”

Took a page from the movie ‘Hackers’ and told the caller that I was *so* glad he called because the BLT drive on my computer was giving me an HoR error. When they said it was a virus, I replied, ‘My *bacon, lettuce and tomato* drive has a *ham on rye* error because of a virus?

I have recently taken steps to significantly reduce the incidence of these calls. OptOut UK has been helpful.

Another thing I used to do for a laugh at their expense was to pretend I was doing what they asked, then give them bogus information back! I had them laughing at one point!

I just simply said that I couldn’t understand English and they hung up.

I try and see how long I can keep them on the line by playing extra dumb and saying that the computer is downstairs. Each time Bob gave an instruction I said I’d have to go down to the computer. 5 minutes later I’d come back and ask another question.

Article continued here

This excerpt appears with permission from Windows Observer.

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22 thoughts on “How to Combat Microsoft Tech Support Scam Calls

  1. You know what is really incredulius about these and credit card scams is tgat they use comouters to mask the real bunber they are calling from ir use their technology to send a caller ID to your ohone indixating you are getting a lical call. Whats worse is that all my numbers gave been on the National Do Nit Call List. Nothing has been done to enforce the law in the last administration. The phone scam business learned early on that they ciuld do anything they wanted with impunity under the Obama Admin regardless if how many violation complaints were filed. I hope out legislatirs and executive branches do something about this problem now. If they dont, I’m inclined to think our leaders don’t care or are influenced but a nefarious lobbying group working not in the best interests of any constituent with a phone number.

  2. I purchased a Garmin GPS I got on line with them and wind up with crooks and paid them 49.99
    because my computer was not capable and them would fix it. Stupid me. I returned the Garmin
    by then as you would expect, I was hacked, The company was CTIC gobal. coupled with DIGI SOMETHING crooked I want them sent to jail

  3. keep getting calls from number 748-603-8450. Stating they are from microsoft and my computer in infected. told them I don’t own a computer and they hang up but call again 2 days later. Next time I am going to answer by saying FBI to see if that stops them. This problem is really getting old and something needs to be done to stop this type of stuff.

    • @Mary:
      Me Too!!
      But they got me for $99.99. and they got into my Bank Account, but the Bank stopped it. SOOOOO, I went to my Boat and got my Air Horn or Fog Horn and waited for them to call back.
      I made sure I was talking to them (FOR SURE) and I spoke real low so they had to get really close to the speaker, then I set it off, it was hurting my ears, so I know they got it good and loud.
      After that I let them have it every time they called. They stopped calling.
      But I am waiting for them now.
      No one does anything to stop them, so I do what I can.
      If someone Reports me then I will have their Name and Information to give to the Police.

  4. I am fighting with this problem right now. “Marcus Miller” is in no way associated with Microsoft. I have had to cancel a cc card and dispute a $299 charge for Office 2016 that was installed on a laptop that was not registered with PC Matic (I will fix that, too!). They are using my information, my phone number and email address through a company called “SupportCart.co” which when they scam someone else the receipt shows MY information. I am fortunate that this laptop is brand new and doesn’t have any real saved information on it, I only use it when I travel. If anyone wants to know more details about this do not hesitate to contact me. I have filed with Microsoft Fraud Department and am doing the same with my State’s AG and the FTC.

  5. I don’t get so many calls now – I hold them on line (35 mins record!) by being ‘dumb’ – great fun if time available!
    Best answer is to use ‘old’ voice and say ‘don’t have a computer.’ I live way out in the country – no electricity!

  6. i was getting these calls a number of times a week, and no matter what i tried, they kept calling. The last man was particularly persistent. i told him that i knew it was a scam, he saiid no it wasn't, and kept it up Then, i said that i am informing him that i am now recording this conversation to pass on to my lawyer (my lawyer told me to try that), and he just kept at it. Finally, i stopped him. i said i was in my 80s, and i wonder what his mother would think about his having a job where he calls elderly people to try to scam them out of their money. "What would your mother think of what you are doing?" And he hung up, and i never heard from any of them again.

  7. After 2years of dealing with these people calling multiple times a week. Asking them to not call. Telling them I knew it was a scam. I finally bought a whistle to keep by the phone. Every time they call I blow it as loud as possible into the phone. I have to admit that the dog and my husband didn't like it at first. Now they don't call as much. But still call.

  8. I got several calls from them. After the first 2 calls I just picked up the phone and hung it up.The calls were all from a different states directory assistanc. Haven't had a call in a while now.

  9. I just got a call from an Microsoft person saying that my windows have errors. This isn’t true because I seem to be able to do everything that is needed. This time it was a American which is unusual it’s usually an Asian. I’m sick of this is there anyway you can put a stop to it. Like maybe getting the FBI involved.

  10. Although I knew the calls (about 10 to date) have been from India, I asked if he was Pakistani. That really pissed him off and he hung up after calling me a bunch of names. At least I think he was calling me names. I couldn't understand most of what he said.

  11. I just received a call from a person with a strong Indian accent and they informed me that they were from Microsoft and that my computer had been infected with a virus. They also said, someone in California had hacked into my computer and was using my email address to perform illegal actions. I asked how do I know you are from Microsoft and he said, "Microsoft affiliation is the only way I could have your email address, name, phone number, etc. I told him I was going to talk to my husband and call him back. The number he left me was not in service, so right there it tells me it is not a legitimate caller. I will contact the division of fraud at the Attorney General's office.

  12. Just had two calls. the first one I said I did not have a computer and she did not believe me…then hung up. About 30 mins later a male called saying same thing (I thin as I could barely understand him and it was so noisy in the background) He started giving me instructions (which I was not doing) press Windows R…I eventually hung up.

  13. I've read a lot about this fake Microsoft scam call. alarming how easy it seems for these crooks to call people and try to scam them, leave a phone number for identification and then easily get away with it.

    Maybe the authorities should start treating this issue more seriously.

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