top 5 types of online scams

Your Search for Support Ends in a Scam


Online searches for technical support are leading unsuspecting computer users into multiple scams.–PC Pitstop.

Your Search for Support Ends in a Scam

By Leo Notenboom


I searched and found a Hotmail support number, but is it legit?

Question:I Googled Hotmail telephone contact US, and one of the sites that came up was {redacted}, the Phone number on the site is: {redacted}. I called the number on this site and was put by the first caller to someone he described as his supervisor who with my permission could access my computer to resolve the problem.

I followed the instructions from the guy and allowed him to access my computer, then he asked me to open one of my hotmail accounts, which I did. He then showed me on my computer a number of files which he informed me were persons trying to gain access to my hotmail account, and said that this and other things needed be cleaned out so the laptop could function effectively again.
He indicated that they provide a technical service to Hotmail for its customers.

Is the site a safe one to go to? Is there a telephone number to contact Hotmail? Should I allow him to access my computer? Should I allow him to clean out what he says needs cleaning out? If not, now that he had access to my computer have I opened myself to any risk and is there something I could do to prevent him from accessing my computer again?

Leo’s Answer:

That’s actually an excerpt of a lengthier question I recently received from someone experiencing difficulty logging into their Hotmail / Outlook.com account while travelling overseas, a very common and often unsolveable problem.

His approach seems sound on the surface: search for a Hotmail support number, and see if the person at the other end can help.

Unfortunately, this path typically leads to even worse problems.

There is no Hotmail support number

Let’s get one thing clear from the beginning: there is no official telephone support for Microsoft’s free email services. That includes Hotmail, Outlook.com, MSN, or whatever free email address you might have from Microsoft.

In fact, that’s true for almost all free email service providers. One of the “costs” of using a free service is that there is no phone number, no email address, and no person you can contact and talk to directly for help when you have problems with your free email account.

There is no Hotmail support number. That’s what you get when you use a free service.

There is no Hotmail customer support email address. That’s what you get when you use a free service.

I’m being explicitly and annoyingly redundant, because so many people refuse to accept that with free services like Hotmail, you get what you pay for when it comes to support.

The only support I’m aware of for Microsoft’s free email services are the community forums for Outlook.com. This is primarily Hotmail and Outlook.com users helping each other, with occasional assistance from Microsoft personnel.

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