Friday, February 12, 2016

Internet Scams: The "Windows 10" Callers

I got a phone call today from someone claiming to represent Windows 10. She didn't say Microsoft Corporation or Hewitt Packard or anything, just Windows 10. This was my first clue the call was a scam. Okay, maybe it was the second clue because the first clue was that their name and number showed "unavailable" when they first called. (This was why I answered the phone. Curiosity.) Any legit company - when they call you - will be identified on your phone because they use public record numbers. You will also be able to see from where they are calling. Even if it's outside your country.

The lady on the line sounded very Indian. She had a very deep Indian accent. She didn't even identify herself at first, leading me to promptly ask her, "Who is this?" Then she said, "My name is Sherry."

Third clue that this was a scam? An Indian girl named "Sherry"? Okay, maybe, but it's a long shot.

She then repeated herself as a representative of Windows 10, (which is wrong, any rep of Windows would not say "Windows", but rather, "Microsoft") and that they saw, through an update attempt of my computer, that I was riddled with many error reports, and viruses, that needed to be cleaned right away or else my computer hard-drive will crash. She wanted me to allow her access to my computer so she could "fix" the problems.

"Oh, the humanity!"

Okay, I didn't say that, but I did think it. And the moment I answered the phone I used an Indian accent of my own because I didn't know who the caller was, and I always answer the phone as an Indian to unknown persons calling my home. It's my thing. It's what I do.

Anyhow, I quickly requested that "she" or Microsoft contact me through my email. She refused, saying that it was a matter of extreme emergency. She asked me if my name was Carroll Bryant, and I assured her I was, still using my Indian accent. This was my fourth clue that this call was a scammer. You see, she said, when I asked her how she got my name, that she (or they, Windows 10) got my name and information from my registration form, from when I registered my new laptop and the services provided. The reason I now knew this was one hundred percent a scam was the fact that everyone knows Carroll Bryant is my writer name, and my phone and address is listed as Carroll Bryant, however, when I fill out registrations online for my computers or for Windows or for any application I download, I use my "real" name. The fact that this woman identified me as Carroll Bryant and not as my real name - made me realize she didn't get my name off any registration form, but rather, from the phone book / public listings.

I told her not to call anymore and hung up. Then what did she do? That's right, she called back. She was insisting this was a matter of great importance but again, I told her not to call back.

She called back. Within seconds. Like she was speed-dialing me or something.

I then threatened to contact the police and my internet provider to have her calls traced. She got angry and shouted, "Then your computer will crash and your hard-drive will be ruined and you will lose all of your information!"

"Piss off, lady. I'm calling the cops."

Okay, so, I just wanted to let you all know that in no way, shape, or form, will anyone from Windows, Windows 10, Microsoft, or from any company, not even your virus protection company like McAfee, or Norton, or whatever you have - will contact you over the phone. It just will never happen. So, if anyone does call you and tells you they are from any of these companies off the internet and say you're computer is infected and they need to go in and "clean" it up, DO NOT ALLOW THEM TO DO IT! ..... IT IS A SCAM! .... HANG UP QUICKLY!

If you think you have been targeted by an internet scammer, an email scam perhaps, or you get a phone call like I did, there is something you can do. You can report this to your internet provider and perhaps they could somehow, maybe through their billing process or something, warn others about the scam. They can also run a check on where the phone call originated. And there is also an FBI website that you can go to to report internet and cyber crimes that have targeted you or someone you know. That FBI link is below.

FBI Internet Crime Complaint Website

Just remember, no one from any online or internet company will ever call you about anything EVER. You may get emails or notices, but make sure you know who sent you the email. Sender emails information are always right there. Check them out carefully. Try responding. If the emails are legit, you will be able to respond. If you can't respond, then it is a scam.

Just be careful. Just as there are scammers calling homes and pretending to be someone from the Canadian Lottery Commission (like my mother got a phone call like that) there are scammers who will pretend to be from Windows who will try to gain access to your computer to get your personal information and to also leave you with a major computer virus I'm sure. One so powerful that it will wipe out your hard-drive and not even your virus protection will be able to stop it. Most of these people / hackers / scammers / have the ability to disable your virus protection. But absolutely no one from Microsoft or any other computer company will ever call you at home from out of the blue. It just won't happen.

And never, under any circumstance, do you ever let anyone gain access and control over your computer at any time. Not even anyone from your virus protection company. Just don't do it.



But if you think you have been targeted by a scammer / hacker then contact the FBI through the link I provided above.

I also contacted Microsoft (I got the number from my internet provider) and asked them directly - just to make sure - and they confirmed what I am telling you right now. They didn't call me and they would never call me like that, nor would they ever ask for my permission to access my computer for ANY reason.

I hope this has been helpful for you and please, don't be a sucker. Use your commonsense, and if you don't have any commonsense, then I hope you have enough money to get yourself another computer because after the scammers get done with you, you're gonna have to go out and buy another one.

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