Microsoft Warning On Phone Scams

Windows Phone
Creative Commons License photo credit: Wade Rockett

The comments on our old Windows Support Scam post continue to mount up as more and more people get caught out by these scam phone calls.

It has been such a problem that Microsoft themselves now have a page on their website offering tips on avoiding getting caught out by the scam. They’ve also recently surveyed 7,000 people, finding that 16% had received these calls, with 3% falling for the scam.

Whilst Microsoft confirm that on the odd occasion they may make phone calls to customers, they will never charge for services:

There are some cases where Microsoft will work with your Internet service provider and call you to fix a malware-infected computer—such as during the recent cleanup effort begun in our botnet takedown actions. These calls will be made by someone with whom you can verify you already are a customer. You will never receive a legitimate call from Microsoft or our partners to charge you for computer fixes.

If they do ever call you, they’re unlikely to ask for your computer username and password.

As you can see in the comments on the original post, the scam is not confined to the UK, takes several forms and comes in a variety of guises, with the criminals claiming to be from many different companies:

  • Windows Helpdesk
  • Windows Service Center
  • Microsoft Tech Support
  • Microsoft Support
  • Windows Technical Department Support Group
  • Microsoft Research and Development Team (Microsoft R & D Team)

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71 thoughts on “Microsoft Warning On Phone Scams

  1. i have had same phone call saying about viruses and that he could fix them he also had my windows liscence number and said i had to renew it. i would like to know how he got it it worries me. i told him where to go

  2. I have just hads a call from someone saying they were from Windows Support. Advising me that there were a number of errors on my computer. They talked me through how to view them and then asked me to go to a web site called teamviewer. This then produced a ID and password that he wanted to be able to fix the error in my computer. When I said I thought this was a scam he got quite anoyed and directed me to another site to verify where he was from. Still not convinced he put me through to someone else who was very persistent. I asked for his phone number which he gave me 07031839555. He then wanted me to give him the password an ID but not convinced I hung up.

  3. I’ve just been called by a man with a strong Indian accent claiming to be from the Windows Support Centre to give me advice on fixing some viruses which have ‘corrupted’ my computer. I have just had problems with the malware virus but I didn’t believe him. I asked where he was based and he said ‘Surrey’ which he seemed to think was a town rather than a county. I asked for an address and there was a long pause while he clearly consulted someone else and then gave 72 High Street, Haslemere, as the address and 01865 600544 as a phone number. I am convinced this is a scam

  4. I received one of these calls at home yesterday. At first a gentleman claiming to be from ‘Windows Maintenance’ told me my Windows XP machine had been compromised. From the accent and background noise it was likely the call was from an Indian call centre.

    I told him my PC was switched on and he talked me through what he described as some system checks – these basically involved him directing me to normal system log files and telling me they were viruses!

    I’d already heard of this scam so I played along and soon got passed to a ‘senior technician’ to get my virus removed. At this point I decided to have some fun and explained to the caller that my machine was in fact a work computer and I worked for the Police.

    Following a short pause, the man came back on the line and still tried to proceed with the scam, telling me I had been hacked because I was a Police Officer!!! He then tried to get me to download some software. I decided to leave it there and told him I knew it was a scam and hung up but was glad to have bumped their phone bill up a bit!

    This is 100% scam and the people doing it have very little technical knowledge, but then again neither have most home computer users so I can see how people may fall for it.

    If someone calls you about anything you haven’t asked for, always refuse to give any information and always refuse to follow any instructions.

  5. I also received one of these calls yesterday. The man had a very strong Indian accent and said that his name, which he repeated over and over, was Peter Parker – was I being overly suspicious that this strange caller was using Spiderman’s name , i think not.

    He went on to tell me that he was from the tech support dept of a company, the name of which I couldn’t make out. He said that my information had been passed to them by my ISPN provider and that my IP address was flashing red indicating that I had an infection on my computer which would cause it to crash any minute. It was apparently very very urgent that I boot up my computer following his instructions and allowing him to access the computer so that it could be fixed immediately.

    He was very insistent, I told him that as I didn’t know who he was I was very reluctant to do such a thing. He then told me that he was fully authorised to do this as he had all of my details and then quoted to me my full name and address.

    As SKy are my internet provider I felt quite sure that if there was such a problem I would be contacted by a sky engineer.The caller could not tell me who my provider was, and the more I debated the issue with him,the more insistent he became.

    Eventually, after a good 10 to 15 mins arguing, he put the ‘phone down on me.

    If I hadn’t been such a cynical person I can tell that I might have felt pressurised into following his instructions, but this is a scam. ALways be very wary of calls if you haven’t asked for help and if in doubt ring your ISPN provider before taking any actions.

  6. I have just had one of these calls. The lady who called advised that she worked for Windows and was calling as my computer was infected with malware.
    Having worked in IT for many years, and aware of the scam, I decided to see where this lead.
    Having afreed to follow her instructions, she was horrified that my computer had errors in the Event Viewer – which even if they are red, are often not critical.
    The ‘senior’ technician I was passed to got me to run some commands, and told me the files being shown were infected files causing criticla issues with the operating system. This persons technical knowledge was poor, and was obviously reading a script of sorts. Anyways, the files shown were totally harmless – use Google to check what a Windows folder is needed for!
    I wanted to find out about the cost and company. Eventually, I was told the annual fee was £65, and would have to sign into a webiste asking me to enter a 6 digit code supplied by them!!!!
    This is really dangerous, as this would open a remote session on your computer and allow them access to all of your files.
    At this point, and 30 minutes into the call, I declined to proceed. The engineer was aghast that I was prepared to take such risks.
    Anyways, be aware of Indian accented people purporting to diagnose and fix your PC!.

  7. Have recieved a telephone call from a female claiming she works for microsoft she wanted me to open my computer to fix a virus I put down the on her. I have now recieved an e-mail from microsoft regarding their yearly Grant.The e-mail congratulated me on my winning £500,000 so be aware a new scam out

  8. July 12th UK
    Same thing from Jeff at PC Tech support with uk Number. It does ring and there is a lady answer machine who I will talk to later. International routing system has picked up serious infections and have to type in INF in run box. Will call me back in 2 hours so lets see how I can string it out further.

  9. I received a call today from a guy called Michael with, I thought an Oriental accent, saying he was fronm the Technical Department at Windows. He continued that they had received a report from my computer and that it contained malicious software that was causing problems with my software and hard-drive. This is the second or third call from these morons. The first I received last year also from a Michael Smith saying that my Windows XP sofware maintenance warranty would be ending and yes went through the whole computer thing but when he said it would cost me £100 plus I backed off and said I would check with my Husband. I arranged for him to ring back late afternoon. He gave me a number which was 0161 884 0505. Having done some checking online found that as I have Windows XP second edition that the support was still ongoing and also about the scam. When he phoned back I told him what I had found out and he put the phone down. The call today was similar but when I told him that Windows had only last evening updated my computer with some malware removal software he still tried to say he would not sort my problems out. I asked for his phone number which he gave me as 1865 600544 and when I said that it was not a UK number he said it was and then put the phone down. He had left off the O and this was also a tell tell sign as that is what you do when calling from abroad. Anyway, I put a 0 in front and called the number. A guy call Glen answered the phone and I asked the name of the company and where was he. He said Haslemere Surrey. I said I was trying to contact a company in Yorkshire to buy a TV and then another guy took over and when I repeated my fib he said he was in Yorkshire and it was a private number.
    What I cannot understand about these scams is why are the Police/Fraud Squad not following these reports up. They have the technology to trace the phone number to an address and with so much information around on them must be able to bring them to justice. There should also be a media alert to households not to talk to these people.
    Sorry for so much info buy these sort of people make me sick.

  10. Hello just got off the phone from people called Windows care.But they called there self just Windows,
    a lady phoned me too start with she told me that my computer was sending windows reports of virus.
    I told her was not my computer doing it she went on to tell me the type of computer it was and so on.she then passed me over to a man called paul Matthus who told me I need help with resetting my computer so it will work faster.
    Course thinking that it may help I let them in to my computer,first started a Scan witch turn out 33.000 problems,
    he told me that he could fix it for me at a cost £180 pounds for a year told hem I didn’t have that sort of money being off work for 4 year he then ask me why I was not working,he then told me that my computer would shop working and what will I do then.He got very upset when I told him I had no money he shut the scanning tool down and put the phone down on me.Am so upset over this who can I talk to about it who can help me and can they still get in to my computer ?

  11. Paul
    As far as I am aware unless you only went into Start and then Run and from there the scan was done they should not be able to access your computer. If they actually took control of your PC they would needed to have had access to your server provider access code. I have experienced this with BT when I had a problem with my old modem access point. See the information below that I have from my server provider BT.

    How It Works:

    Step 1: Once you are on the phone with a member of our support team, you will be directed back to this page after your support representative provides you with a unique connection code. You will then enter the code in the field below and click the Click Here button to initiate the screen-sharing session.

    Step 2: You are prompted to download a small virus-free plug-in.

    Step 3: With your permission, your support representative can view your screen and share control of your mouse and keyboard.

    Step 4: You are in full control of your computer at all times. You always have overriding control of your mouse and keyboard, and you can end the screen-sharing session at any time.

    So if none of the above happened and they were not doing the control of running the progam with mouse pointer without you doing anything then I guess you have nothing to worry about.

    If still in doubt there are lots of people out there that you can ring, like PC World, who I am sure will put your mind at rest.

    These morons are making a mint of people vulnerability and should be stopped.

  12. I got such a indian-accented call this morning and I am in Singapore. When I said I will call him back, he gave the tel # as 018-655-211-67 (Steve). Beware, Singaporeans!

  13. vera,july 19. ive just got a similar call from an indian gentleman saying he was ringing from windows service sector,asking if my computer was running slowly.i was immediatly suspicious and pretended i knew nothing about computers and he agreed to ring back tomorrow to speak to my daughter at 3pm.his no was 001000206.what will i do when he rings back.

  14. Vera, Tell him to get lost and if you want to sort your computer out you will do it locally and not with them. They are expensive and will take you for a ride. Tell them you will report them to the Ministry Of Justice and the Office of Fair Trading if they don’t leave you alone. These people are parasites.

  15. I had the scam phone call this afternoon. All the usual – Indian accent,your computer has a virus and I an from Windows Support.
    He asked me to go to the “start” button and access certain files which he described as corrupted. He then directed me to a site called “Ammyy” which is a share computer site. I downloaded from the site and inadvertently gave him the access number and he was able to control my mouse and keyboard. The offer was that he was willing to update my system for $354 which I declined.
    Is it possible for these people to now hack into my computer using this Ammyy address?

  16. We receive at least 5 calls a week from these people. Sometimes we put the phone down and sometimes we play along, ask them how the weather is in India, or other similar stuff. Of course we never type in anything but mostly we put the phone down. Actually its becoming a damn nuisance and I feel really sorry for anyone, for instance someone not very savvy, who get sucked into this.

  17. I received a similar call yesterday from a gentelman with an Indian accent saying that he was from Windows Support team and that my computer has been sending error messages to them over the last few week and he would fix them. He asked me to go through several things on my computer and in the event viewer told me that these were viruses on my computer and he could fix them. I told him that I have a good anti virus program and asked how these could have got onto my computer. I asked for his phone number 02032390072 and put the phone down. I telephoned this number today and asked to speak to the manager another gentelman came on claiming to be Harry Palmer I think it was the same guy and I asked him for the e-mail address as I had a complaint he gave me windowssupport4u@hotmail.com. I then decided to put a search in for scams and this came up. I am glad I found this as I was starting to get worried something was up with my pc. Beware of these people.

  18. Well today i joined the same scam club, again a young lady with an indian accent claiming to be from the windows support team and with the same statement with regard to recieving several error messages and offering to take control of my machine remotely to show me the error messages,I told her that I did not believe she was from windows support and she was not only persistant but plausable,But after dragging the call out a bit in the hope it would be costing them some money and after telling her that it must be some strange phenomina that she was getting error messages from my machine generated by win7 when i was still running winxp and telling her that i still did not believe she was from the support team the phone went very quiet!!.
    I imagine to a complete computer or internet novice this scam could be quite dangerous apart from trying to charge you for rubbish you dont want giving unscrupulous characters remote access to your machine could most probably let them access other information as i’m unsure of exactly how much they can see of your destop.. The shame is that most people looking at this thread are wise enough to have avoided any problems resulting from the call but i wonder just how many people are getting caught by this??

  19. Hello All,
    I received a call from a friend yesterday (Aug 8, 2011). He was having computer problems and thought I could help him as he isn’t very computer savvy. Turns out he received the same call as described above, except he fell for it. They took control of his computer and now he can’t do anything with it. They sucked him in by telling him his computer was about to crash any second and they could prevent the loss of his hard drive if he granted them access to stop it. With little computer knowledge and in panic mode because of important work documents on his computer he fell hard. Some of the problems with his computer now are freezing. You can’t view control panel, can’t explore system files without the computer freezing. I haven’t had a chance to physically look at his computer, I have only went through things over the phone. The phone number he was given, he tried calling only to receive a recording “the number you are dialing is no longer in service ……” I have had him disconnect from the internet until I look at his PC. If anyone knows of software (name)that may have been loaded onto his computer would be of great help in fixing his computer. I tried getting him to do a system restore (walking him through it over the phone) but this did not work. Any help would be great, thanks in advance! Jim
    Ontario, Canada

  20. Just got a call today from “Windows Systems Department”. They were a little confused when I said that I used a Mac. :) I told them to call back to talk to my husband about his PC. Is there any way to take these guys down??

  21. I have been getting these calls for about 18 months now – doesn’t matter what you say to them – I have tried telling them my son is a computer security expert (which he is) or being down right rude they still keep calling. I now have a brand new PC but according to them it is badly infected by virus?? should I take it back to the shop!!!! I would like to know where they got my phone number from? does anyone know the answer.

  22. Hi Karel
    In answer to your question as to how they get your phone number; one way is, if you live in the UK, from your local council electors register. If you do not opt out of the ‘Edited Register’ anyone can purchase the list from the council and use for whatever purpose they want. Our local council are at present updating the register and sending out forms so opt out and this may help. Other ways they get you phone number is from completing online survey and other companies web site that insist on you putting in a phone number. I have enter eleven zero in this space sometimes so they do not have my number. Another obvious way is of course from the BT phone book.

  23. This morning had a phone call from an Indian sounding ‘gentleman’ saying I had errors on my computer. He then passes me onto a ‘technician’ to take me through the process. The technician’s name came up on my computer (I has agreed to hand control of my PC to him) as John Hudson. Again he sounded Indian. He gave me lots of talk about errors etc. If I had less than 35000 errors then sorting them would be free. Suprisingly I had more and if I wanted to get rid of them it would cost a one off fee of £99. I had said are you selling anything and they both said no it is a Microsoft service. They gave me a number (02032878834) and address 119 – 121 Westbourne Raod, London W2 4UP and a ref WSC20109. I declined their offer and shall not be clicking the report error box in future.
    Jon

  24. I have had several of these calls, particularly over the last couple of weeks, but the first one was about a year ago. Whilst I have not fallen for it, on the last call they asked me if I was ****** on telephone number ******, which was absolutely correct, although I told them it wasn’t. The phone calls always come when I’m on a second hand laptop which I use to download freeware that I am not too sure about to check it out prior to downloading it on my main PC. I re-formatted this laptop when I bought it, it has no personal details on it whatsoever and my ISP provides me with with a different Dymanic IP address each time I log on. Accepting the fact they could have randomly got my name & number from a register of some sort it does seem somewhat coincidental that I only use this laptop on rare occasions, and that’s when the calls happen. Various virus checks show nothing untoward, so I’m wondering if there is anyway they can get my number through a “line check” or something similar while I’m online? Or is it just a coincidence? Wonder if anyone can help with the answer?

  25. Dear all,
    I HAD A CALL FROM WINDOWS FROM A KURT AND THE (SUPPOSEDLY) MANAGER,Ronald Smith.They told me that i had messages about microsoft errors on my computer.I was told to go through the run and they gave me id numbers,Amazing how all these English names turn out to be Indian accented people!Anyway,they asked if my computer was still warranted,it turned out that my computer wasnt,as it is about 6-7 years old,so it had run out.I tried foolishly to renew it,but true to form(thankfully)my bank declined it.I then had an email,from a paypal account,to say a manesh singh needed my money to pay for the renewing of my warranty.After a while,my cursor started to do its own thing.I shut down the Computer and it seems to be ok at the moment.Maybe the only person we should be in touch with is Bill Gates.

  26. I’m working away from home at present and my partner had a call today from a call center claiming to be working on behalf of Microsoft and that they had been made aware that there were problems with our computer. The number they gave was 01157142007. I know that there are problems with our home computer and have not used it for months as we both use our laptops. When my partner switched on the home computer, true to form it took ages to load up, so the technician ‘Mark Albert’ asked her to log on to her laptop. He guided her through some screens and told her that there were numerous viruses and proceeded to show her how to allow him remote access to her laptop. I’m not sure exactly what he did, as i’m not at home, but there is now a 90 day trial version of Norton Anti Virus loaded and also CCLEANER which is a free download. She was then asked to pay £38.00 and directed to make a payment via ESecure, which she did. When she told me i was flabbergasted that she was so gullible. I have told her to contact the bank to inform them of what has happened and to also report it to the police. I have also told her to take the laptop to PCworld to advise on what course of action she should now take to secure her laptop. What i would like to know is when i return home, will they be able to access my laptop via our home wireless router or would it be a simple thing of just changing the router password?

  27. Had two calls in the past week from two Indian men with broad accents. Both from a company called “”On-line PC Care”. The first gave his name as David Williams and the second as Jack Hardey (really!!). Both wanted me to go to my “virus-infested” computer and do myself a favour by allowing them access. When I asked the second one how he had got my number he said Microsoft Windows receives the error messages and sends them out to a number of companies doing maintenance (Microsoft outsourcing to different people)and these people call us and clean out the viruses.

    As I have recently required such a service from Acer’s support (outsourced to AnswersBy in India and the States) and I was directed to Chennai and New York I am wondering if the scam callers got my number by chance (twice this week!!) or if the legitimate call centres let slip my telephone number. I am quite concerned. How can we tell when the legit companies stop working on our computers and when the scammers take over? Is it better to take our computers to local companies to repair rather than seeking on-line help? Thanks.

  28. I had one of these phone calls this morning, in South Africa. Same Indian accented man called Michael who said he was calling from Windows Technical Dept. Same old drivel about my computer being infected with mal-ware blah blah. I was quietly chuckling and he had the gall to ask me why I was laughing! Anyway, I told him if I had any problems with my computer, I would take into the shop to be looked at and didn’t need his help. He dropped the phone very quickly. Always be suspicious.

  29. I’ve been getting these phone calls, on and off, for over a year now. I use a Mac and always mention that I don’t have any machines running Windows. Today, yet another call, this time from ‘Windows Service Centre’. When I told him I use a Mac he called me a liar and insisted someone in the house was using an infected Windows PC. Is there no way to stop being harassed by these conmen? I’m registered with the Telephone Preference Service and do not want unsolicited calls but they keep calling! I’m tempted to change my home phone number just to get rid of them…

  30. I had a call from these on Thursday, I wasn’t the person who answered the phone and was told it was someone from windows, he knew that I had recently bought a new pc – I have in fact bought a new desktop and laptop within the last month so when he said I may have errors on it I immediately got worried and was taken in by what he said, when he said regular anti virus software doesn’t get rid of all viruses I agreed as I had a virus once before that my zonelabs didn’t delete. It sounded busy in the background like they were desperate to correct errors with other people’s pc’s too. As the call continued I did get suspicious but wasn’t aware of the scam and what they were actually doing. I allowed him to access my pc and agreed to pay for the service. As soon as I came off the phone I googled and found it was a scam so immediately contacted my bank. I shut the pc down – unaware they still had access until about 30 mins later when I ran superAntiSpyware which found a virus. I then realised I needed to disconnect from the internet. I’ve had my pc unplugged from the wall since, until I find time to delete the hard drive etc. Since then I’ve contacted the fraud squad, and changed most of my passwords, plus set up a new email just in case. But I’m still worried about what information they could be using. Does anyone actually know if they do go further than just conning people out of money, are they in the business of ID theft. Their emails to me about payment consist of “MStechonline” “onlinetechfriends” and “g2s.com”. The final decider for me was when he said to fix the laptop as well they would need a different credit card.

  31. Just had a call from an Indian lady with the same old story – she was from a company called Windows Support, I had multiple problems with my computer that I didn’t know about blah blah blah. I stopped her in her tracks to say that we’ve only just had a new hard drive installed, all is working perfectly and she was not – I repeat NOT – to call me again and ended the call. Phone rang seconds later – it was the same woman who said “You are a bitch!” Nice….

  32. I too received one of these scam calls. I was immediately suspicious as it was a Saturday morning. The persistence of the caller was very credible and I repeatedly asked how they could know my IP address. At this stage I was passed to the callers ‘supervisor’ who was insistent that my computer was infected by serious viruses and was running very slowly. I refused to access my computer and the caller became even more insistent. I am very wary of any unsolicited calls and asked to call them back. I was given a telephone number 0218040351 the caller further confirmed he was Tim Lantern from Windows support. The caller even wanted to give me a password to quote when I called back! Both callers that I spoke with had distinctive Indian accents. I then googled the call to find that this seems to be a common occurrence. These scanners were very good and I had a lucky escape. I don’t normally post on websites but hope that this helps others.

  33. The same thing has happened to me. They called me about three weeks ago and I told the heavily accented caller that I thought he was trying to con me and he shouldn’t call back, but this morning they did call back telling me my internet has “downloaded some malicious files”. I knew it was a scam straight away so I told them I’d get someone to have a look at my computer and the caller ended the call without any fuss.

  34. I just had one of these calls. The line was very bad and crackly so that rung warning bells to me straight away.

    The call was completely out of the blue and he told me about the error reports on my computer. I just told him my husband is an IT technician and that he deals with that sort of thing.

    It just worries me that they are getting names and telephone numbers from somewhere.

  35. I also have just had 2 calls from an Indian accented caller who said he was from Microsoft and that they had detected a virus in my computer..he wanted to guide me through 30min of instructions..when I asked him for his name and number so that my local computer expert,who serviced my computer, could give him a ring,the phone went dead very quickly! So that’s the solution to these scammers! Good luck,everyone,with ridding yourselves of these timewasters..

  36. I just had a call from someone with a really heavy Indian accent – I had to keep asking him to repeat himself. He said he was from Microsoft Windows Support and this was a service to help with my computer as they had been notified that there was a problem and someone had hacked it. I kept asking him how he could identify himself (earlier today I was sent an email in the yesasia scam where I goe an email saying I had ordered $500 worth of stuff from the yesasia.com site, and gave me a link to the invoice which turned out to be a zip file. Thankfully I was suspicious and didn’t click it…). So anyway I was pretty wary, but eventually let him pass me to a technician who showed me the warning notices on my computer. When she said she would connect to my computer I started asking her how she could verify her identity, and eventually she got fed up with me (I told her about the virus earlier today) and because I wouldn’t stop asking her to prove who she was she hung up. 20 minutes on their phone bill though….

  37. I just had a call, Indian accent, Windows Support (or service centre), saying there had been problems with my computer. The scary thing is, when I asked him how I could verify whether he really was from Windows, he said my name and my postal address (badly). I’m in the Netherlands. So I suppose they are using phone book records? He then wanted me to press a Windows key on my computer. When I told him I do not have a Windows machine he hung up.

  38. I just got the call. Thanks to Money Watch, while he was trying to get my okay for a $65 registration fee for one year of absolute computer protection I did a quick Google. Made it fun to hang up on him, as I was saying during the call it felt like a scam and him giving me ‘assurances’ it still smelled fishy.

    He was saying error reports were being sent to Windows and that I should turn on my computer, I asked him which one, desktop or laptop. He said laptop.

    I did see some errors in the computer management section of my computer that I will try to investigate.

    But I told him on the phone that I saw Money Watch said they were a scam and I trusted Money Watch so I hung up. Now I wish I listened to his response.

  39. Hi my dad had a call from an indian speeking person claming he was a genuine microsoft engineer and he wanted my dad to look at his computer following the indians directions to show him all the erors on the computer.

    Then he directid my dad to go to http://www.efix.co and to go to tecnical support to download somthing that will alow the other person (indian) to access his computer to fix these errors.

    The indian was very insistant that we give him our microsoft code that comes up on the file my dad downloaded.

    He was very insistant that it was not a scam and he was genuine and everytime we told him we did not want to do this he wouldnt take no for an answer so we hung up on him and he kept ringing back.

    I told my dad not to give him any codes or let him have access to the computer.

    It seems wierd why if he was a genuine microsoft engineer then why was my dad going to http://www.efix.co a compleatly diffrently company to fix these errors. surly microsoft would put the updates on the computer auto via the update in my programs.

    Dont talk to these people they are con men **************

  40. I should have added this to my other comment. I wanted to verify who he said he was working for. I said “You work for Microsoft”? He goes “No, I work for Windows”.

    Huh? That was another red flag. How can you work for an authorized Windows support without working for Microsoft?

  41. Have had these people trying this scam for some weeks now,telling me that my pc is being used by hackers for criminal activities,using something called .pnf files,which is nonsense.I went along with this to some extent as they sound very convincing with even the background sounds one might expect from a call centre.
    The wanted me to renew some software warranty that that they claimed had expired,and that if I did not pay up then they would block my pc from the internet,which they have succeeded in doing.Needless to say I am very angry about this.
    So beware of these people.There is no way of verifying who these people are.Even if Microsoft genuinely did phone up,I wouldn’t believe them either!

  42. Had calls from these people yesterday to my Mum – very insistent, playing on how she was a genuine customer of microsoft, saying that her malware protection wasn’t compatible with windows 7, really pressuring her for best part of two hours and causing considerable distress. site involved was efix.co installed malware onto Mum’s PC that gave them remote access, they brought up some fake list of millions of threats already on the computer and that she could lose her computer and all her data if it wasn’t fixed. Although she was suspicious from the start they were so insistent and fright-inducing that the was worried. Fortunately she had me to come to, but how many other people are less lucky. Currently if you search e-fix.co scam on google, the top result is from the site itself proclaiming that they are constantly trying to help people avoid scams.

  43. I received a similar call this morning. Indian chap called ‘Kevin’ who was very insistent. I was unaware of the scam but am generally very cautious on anything like this. As with others, he got me to open event viewer and tried to tell me that the errors were malicious and that I had hacking files on my PC. I hung up twice and he insisted on calling me back. The second time I almost screamed down the phone and told him not to call back or I would be contacting the police. Thankfully, the phone has not rung again!!

  44. I managed to keep efix on the phone for 25 minutes before I got bored and hung up. I had a lot of visitors in that time so they were on hold for quite a while.

    Next time they call, try and keep them on the phone for as long as possible (I find putting the phone down and making a coffee kills 5 – 10 minutes straight away), it’ll stop them from calling someone who may fall for it and also increase their costs so hopefully they won’t bother in the future…

  45. Just terminated a call after 53 minutes! (hopefully cost them a few bob from India).

    I felt confident enough with my existing firewall and virus software to play along with this one (we store all documents and meida on an external drive which was switched off). I did point out the irony of a supposed Windows security support service demanding remote citrix access to my computer and control of the desktop.
    “Roger” did seem to appreciate that but didn’t respond with any sensible explanation for the Windows security software failing to pick up or block malware or spyware (he apparently believes that all securty software only ever identifies viruses).

    As other contributers have pointed out, many of the errors on the list were either hardware faults of which I was already aware, or more often Microsoft application failures!

    This is certainly an interesting one.

  46. I just had a similar call from a guy called Victor, also with a strong Indian accent. He said he was from Bradford when I asked, and he knew my name. I live in Denmark! It was the same story and I was immediately suspicious, said I was just going out, so could he call back later. He sounded a bit annoyed then and asked where I was going! Since I then got annoyed with him, he backtracked and agreed to call back later. Now I know about the scam, I will not be answering…

  47. My elderly mother received one of these calls yesterday whilst I was out. She is on the telephone preference service & gives short shrift to unsolicited calls from callers with foreign accents! She did however pass on the jist of her conversation.
    First of all, she does not own a computer – I do, but it is her name in the phone book. I imagine these scammers are just getting names & numbers from telephone lists – so many people own computers these days that it will be just be a matter of making calls until they find someone they can con.
    For a couple of years I was a live-in carer for an elderly man & whilst there had a similar call – again they didn’t have my name because the phone line was his.
    I have owned & worked with computers since 2000 & I don’t know of any one who has ever had a genuine contact from Microsoft! So if in doubt – put the phone down!

  48. HEllo all,
    I was to contacted by this company Microsoft service center.These people with indian accents told me my computer was being hacked and they wanted to make sure i was aware of the fact and they were there to help.I know not alot about computers but talked to them but soon realised when there ambush tactics or bullying when i did not comply was told my computer would not work again and soforth in between called a friend and asked about SSL which they asked me about security he said hang up and glad i did.First time anything like this ever happened to me and leaves a worrying sign to what we can and cant put on the internet as these scum try to take advantage of people and they rang me in the Netherlands just go to show how far they are willing to go as they said they were in surrey.keywords they used was Hackers,SSL exspire,Daddy of the lair(security lair)Microsoft security center,and of course your credit card west union bank.Same as most of the comments here PUT DA PHONE DOWN

  49. I have just had one on the phone for about 15 minutes and I became suspicious when he wanted me to go to the efix web site so at that point I said I don’t trust him and put the phone down. He called straight back twice but I gave him answer phone.

  50. I had one of these calls this afternoon. A heavily accented Indian man phoned on my landline to tell me that my computer would crash this afternoon as I had downloaded a virus. He said he was phoning from Windows in London. Immediately became suspicious, but was thrown a little as only an hour or so before I had run lots of updates and had a couple of error messages on my laptop. He was very persistent – demanding that I take the phone to the laptop and a little obnoxious too. We both had great difficulty understanding each other, but I had to go out, although he was very keen to phone me back. I then googled and found out about the scam. For info he told me his telephone number was 020 323 91487 and gave his name as James. Very pleased I found this site!

  51. I’ve just had a call from someone with an Asian accent claiming to be from Microsoft Centre in Birmingham (tel 1800 257 3461). They told me that my computer was vulnerable to attacks from hackers as the IP address had been compromised and then suggesting I sit down at my computer to follow their instructions. I refused saying that I did not trust that they were from Microsoft. They gave me a work ID (989/WS) but I refused to do anything about it. I tried the number they gave me and it was unavailable. Could this be part of this same scam?

  52. Got one of these calls. The usual drill as listed by everyone else here. However I decided to do some internet snooping on efix.co. A bit of ‘whois’ turned up a Mr Saurabh Singh as the owner of this particular domain. It’s listed as up for sale, but clearly is a parking site for the hoax ‘Windows Service’ site.
    It appears Mr Singh owns 64 other domains. They are all based in India. Contact email seems to be saurabh@impeccablesolutions.net
    if you want a refund.

    Whois details are below.

    Domain Name: EFIX.CO
    Domain ID: D8709685-CO
    Registrar-Reseller Name: Name Services
    Registrar-Reseller URL: http://www.nameservices.co
    Sponsoring Registrar: ENOM, INC.
    Sponsoring Registrar IANA ID: 48
    Registrar URL (registration services): http://www.enom.com
    Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited
    Registrant ID: C281EC28CBEFC859
    Registrant Name: Saurabh Singh
    Registrant Organization: Impeccable solutions
    Registrant Address1: 502, technocrat society
    Registrant City: Gurgaon,
    Registrant State/Province: HARYANA,INDIA
    Registrant Postal Code: 111111
    Registrant Country: India
    Registrant Country Code: IN
    Registrant Phone Number: +91.919999191785
    Registrant Facsimile Number: +91.919999191785
    Registrant Email: saurabh@impeccablesolutions.net
    Administrative Contact ID: C281EC28CBEFC859
    Administrative Contact Name: Saurabh Singh
    Administrative Contact Organization: Impeccable solutions
    Administrative Contact Address1: 502, technocrat society
    Administrative Contact City: Gurgaon,
    Administrative Contact State/Province: HARYANA,INDIA
    Administrative Contact Postal Code: 111111
    Administrative Contact Country: India
    Administrative Contact Country Code: IN
    Administrative Contact Phone Number: +91.919999191785
    Administrative Contact Email: saurabh@impeccablesolutions.net
    Billing Contact ID: 03A63A8985DBF6F5
    Billing Contact Name: Nitesh Soni
    Billing Contact Organization: JP Soft
    Billing Contact Address1: 21, Vijay Bari, Path No.:7
    Billing Contact City: Jaipur
    Billing Contact Postal Code: 302023
    Billing Contact Country: India
    Billing Contact Country Code: IN
    Billing Contact Phone Number: +91.919460552664
    Billing Contact Facsimile Number: +91.1412232792
    Billing Contact Email:
    Technical Contact ID: C281EC28CBEFC859
    Technical Contact Name: Saurabh Singh
    Technical Contact Organization: Impeccable solutions
    Technical Contact Address1: 502, technocrat society
    Technical Contact City: Gurgaon,
    Technical Contact State/Province: HARYANA,INDIA
    Technical Contact Postal Code: 111111
    Technical Contact Country: India
    Technical Contact Country Code: IN
    Technical Contact Phone Number: +91.919999191785
    Technical Contact Facsimile Number: +91.919999191785
    Technical Contact Email: saurabh@impeccablesolutions.net
    Name Server: NS1.JPTECHNOWORLD.COM
    Name Server: NS2.JPTECHNOWORLD.COM
    Created by Registrar: ENOM, INC.
    Last Updated by Registrar: ENOM, INC.Created by Registrar: ENOM, INC.
    Last Updated by Registrar: ENOM, INC.
    Domain Registration Date: Tue Sep 27 10:56:17 GMT 2011
    Domain Expiration Date: Wed Sep 26 23:59:59 GMT 2012
    Domain Last Updated Date: Mon Oct 03 11:50:35 GMT 2011

  53. I got a call last evening, Jan. 12, 2012. The caller said he was in Canada. He spoke very bad English and had difficulty explaining just what it was that had invaded my computer. He did know my name and obviously my phone number here in Houston, Texas. I enjoyed playing with him for about five minutes and then insulted his mother and him. He stayed on anyway. So I hung up.

  54. Hello all,
    Just recieved a phone call from an Indian gentleman called ‘Romeo.’ Romeo insisted he was calling from Efix.com, a company that works on behalf of Microsoft to address any issues its customers may have. I allowed him to continue after cottoning on that he was full of the proverbial but I found it quite funny listening to him. After 5 minutes of him telling me how my computer was full of viruses and was a potential cause for world destruction I interupted him and told him I was concerned that he was part of a scam and i questioned how he came about obtaining our phone number. Romeo seemed offended by this (poor bloke) and tried to alleviate my concerns by repeating my partners name and address 20 times. I lost patience with him and told him to stop bothering us before hanging up. I was suprised to recieve a courtesy call from Romeo within 21 seconds. I explained to Romeo that I wasnt interested in what he had to say and he started shouting down the phone at me. This then indicated open season for me to tell him what i thought of his chosen profession and led to him being affectionately nick named “F*** NUTS.” I hung up on “F*** NUTS on three more occasions, each time recieving a courtesy call from him immediately after.
    Bottom line of the story, these people are low-life scum who are just out to fraud people out of hard earned money. If anyone speaks to Romeo soon, please send my regards.

  55. I was not so wise unfortunately; I allowed them remote access to my computer and he showed my list of error messages. I immediately got the jist and realised this was a scam, disconnected the remote access. Mr Singh (THE) seemed quite annoyed by this! I am quite worried about allowing remote access. Is it possible that during this time they could have found passwords and information stored on my computer, or am I safe now I have removed the remote program and run a full scan on my PC with no result?

  56. My daughter received said phone call last week , asked the man which laptop he was referring to,he got all confused by this then he hung up . Received one today, woman with indian accent said she was from BT tho :/ and was ringing about my computer i said i didn’t have one she then asked about laptop i said no , she hung up no bye or anything.

  57. Hi I’m glad I looked all the comment you have all left. I just had a phone call from a lady ( didn’t even give her name ) but I was on the phone for 40mins with her telling me that my new computer which is only a month old has got loads of crap on it ( malicious stuff on it ) after her talking me through every think and taking over my computer I saw the words scam ! A lot in people’s comments . The lady then passed me over to a man who went through the same bloody stuff then said accept I put the mouse over decline but he kept moving it but I pressed decline and then tried to shut the computer down but he still had control so then I blocked all in and out Internet activity ! So then the phone kept ringing ! Ha ha took batteries out of phone for half an hour ! So thank you I now have restored my setting back after he/she made them go black xx

  58. have just received yet another call instructing me to check windows log of errors and they told me to run http://WWW.efix.co
    who are efix.co and is this genuine ?
    they said that because i have genuine microsoft when it errors a log is kept and these errors could crash my PC
    should i believe this as i do have a slow PC and obviously dont want a crash ?
    as stated by others i asked how they got my phone number and details but these were also Indian and i could not understand
    please help as i keep getting these calls
    if genuine i want to proceed and have them fix these errors but i am worried i may be handing my PC control over
    who and what is efix ?
    thanks

  59. In reply to Mike these may be a genuine company but they are only after one thing and that is for you so pay them a contract fee for fixing problems with your computer. Once they gain remote access they can steal any information on your computer. DO NOT allow them any access to your computer. If your computer is running slow it may be an older model that needs upgrading or there is a hardware problem. There are lots of people in your local area that can help with that for a one off fee. Possibly look at taking it to your local PC World or Curry’s who offer this type of service. It is a pity that these scammers are not publically brought to task via the TV or Media and there should be a law to stop unsolicited phone calls. Thankfully the more people are that are made aware of this scam the less likelyhood of people being conned. If my Husband happens to answer the phone and recognised the voices asking about computer problems he says and load of expletes to them and hangs up. If they keep ringing just ask them to hold on, put the phone down and go and do something else for a while. They will soon clear the line as they are paying for the call.

  60. NEVER give control of your computer to a person who randomly calls you.

    I like the response where if they call you, tell them you will go get your computer and just leave them hanging. Best way to get rid of these crooks. Unless you want to curse at them. But leaving them hanging hurts them more.

  61. I had one of these guys call today. I just about made out that he felt that my laptop was in danger of being infected by some super powerful viruses. When I explained that I was fully protected and did not have time for the phone call. He became very rude and began yelling at me. After trying to politely tell him that I was completely insured and had the appropriate virus and malware protection several times I simply hung up on him as he continued to shout. I would have called him some choice words had I not had company. No doubt he will call again.

  62. I’m in Montreal, Canada, and have received several of these calls over the last year. Twice this week. The Canadian anti-fraud centre says it’s important to try to get a phone number for them to see from which call centre they operate.
    I’d be more than happy to pay a few dollars along with others to have a hitman in India wipe out the bastards running these annoying fraud schemes.

  63. We’ve had 5 calls (on our ex directory number) in the last week from “Smart Support”. A gut with an African accent has tried to persuade my wife to log on and be talked through the solution to the problem that has been reported (we NEVER click to report errors). This morning I had a brief conversation with him and asked for a number to ring him back on. He gave 0203 318 2917. He’s still waiting. I think that if he rings back I’ll ask him to hold and leave the phone next to the radio.

  64. My dad got a call today from a guy with an indian accent. My dad agreed to let them in to his computer via some kind of remote desktop software (must be a Windows pre install because he just gave them a code?). I´m a Mac user and don´t really know Windows that well.

    My dad then asked how he could know they were from Microsoft. Then they asked him to find the computer ID number (not sure if this was the serial number or the mac address) and they gave him the correct number from a record they had. How in heaven they knew that in the first place I do not know.

    After they told him his computer had many errors (event manager), and it was about to break down, they offered him a life time support deal for $350 – and a payment screen appeared on his screen.

    Now (finally) my dad saw the warnings signs! OMG! He hung up and turned the computer off.

    I´m not impressed. My dad has used computers since 1984, and he didn´t even have anti virus software installed on this brand new computer.

    I have asked him to remove the network cable, and go to the store and get a CD with Norton or simular.

    Hopefully they did not infect it in any way. If they did, I hope we find it and get rid of it.

  65. I keep getting these phone calls and my answer to them every single time is I know this is a scam, I am not stupid no one is going to call me to tell me that there is something wrong with my computer or my MS Operating System. I’ve even told them I work in IT, they are relentless. I got rid of them for a while by telling one guy that I have already turned them in to the FCC; he hung up on me and it was over a month before I started getting calls again. Today someone one named “Shawn” called saying he (or she) was calling from the “Service Center” about my Windows Operating System” I asked why they keep calling when I tell them not to; I was to they are calling all registered users of The Windows Operating System, then said something else that I could not understand. I told him I could not understand what he was saying and he got a little rude; I then told him I couldn’t understand him because of his damn accent, he told me to learn English, then hung up….OH BROTHER! I wish there was a way to get these idiots to STOP!!!!!

  66. I have just had one of these phone calls hence I went on line to see if anything similar was happening elsewhere. Foreign accent and said he was from Windows support and had received notification my computer had downloaded some malicious software. He claimed to have various reference numbers that would prove him genuine, when I asked him to tell me what kind of computer my windows software was installed on he dried up. I told him I was sure this was a scam and then i politely hung up.

  67. I have had several of these calls, and each time I tell them I am not interested and remove my number from their database. Today two calls from the same Indian gentleman. At the second one I got very annoyed and asked for the name of the firm and a contact number. He refused to give these, just saying he was phoning from London. I told the person in no uncertain terms I was not interested.
    He had the audacity to keep phoning me back to say he was not happy with me and ended up making a very loud noise at the end of the phone – luckily I did not have the phone right next to my ear, I was using the speakerphone as I have a hearing difficulty

  68. 5th call – this time from a woman…….said she was from Windows support team….when I asked “you are from Microsoft?” she said “no I am from Windows support team – Microsoft made your computer” she hung up when I told her she obviously didn’t know her arse from her elbow when it comes to computers and there was no way I was going to allow someone who didnt have a clue to hack into my computer.

  69. Creative Solutions caught me last November when I was at a low ebb, and I foolishly signed up for three months. I let them into my computer and they did something remotely (I am not very computer literate). I was away from home for most of the three months and didn’t use the computer much so have no idea if anything was downloaded. I now have a new computer and had forgotten about Creative Solutions. However, over the past few weeks I have had continual International phone calls from Indian sounding gentlemen telling me that their company has not been giving customers the service they should and that they must close down by order of the Government. They want to give me a refund!!! I just have to open up my computer and they will send me the necessary form. I keep telling them I am not interested and if they really want to refund money they can send me a cheque – they have quoted my address to me. Has anybody else had this version of the scam? How on earth can I stop them ringing me up? The phone shows ‘International’ not a number and as I have overseas friends and family I have to answer.

  70. He told me he was flom windows, dat his name was Kevin & him was callin from norfolk & I had serius plobrem wiff my comluter, I said is everyone in India called Kevin, I finks you is
    dat slumdog millyaire, he told me to go do my muvver, so I
    told him I would, when I finished doing his muvver, his missis, his sister & his dog,I den put da curse on him dat his crotch be
    infested by one thousand fleas & that his arms be to short to scratch it, ………the bastard hung up on me

  71. Very sneaky scam artist. Called my cell phone and claims his company, Technocrat, has been hired by Microsoft to trace the websites that are sending viruses, and that they will fix this for me remotely. When I asked for his name and company, he spelled out Daniel Thompson (His accent didn’t sound like it!).
    He gave me a website url to http://www.technocrat.com, but that site has nothing to do with Microsoft or fixing viruses.

    He then had me type R and enter a series of commands to see that various programs from Microsoft are stopped, proving that I have a virus. The last command he gave me to enter displayed my Windows License number which he already had and read it to me, which was correct. He said this is proof he’s legit.

    He then told me to go to http://www.tvi.name to download and run Team Viewer and give him control of my PC. Then I told him to first send me his contact info to my Yahoo address, and he said he’s just the technical guy and will have to get someone from another department to do this. So I told him I’ll look for his email, but will not give him access until he can prove he’s legitimate. He almost had me going for it.

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