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Dec. 12:   WARNING: Be Aware of Phone Scam and Fraudulent Calls
Today I received a phone call from a middle aged male with strong Indian accent, claiming to be a representative for the Microsoft customer support. The phone number on the call display showed a private number, indicating that the caller has blocked this feature on purpose.

The caller explained that Microsoft has been receiving large amounts of warnings and error messages originating from my computer, caused by viruses and other harmful software on my system. He further stated that Microsoft is obligated to take actions and the caller has been assigned to help me cleaning up my computer. Should I refuse to cooperate, Microsoft would have no other option than removing Windows from my PC.
Being amused by this obvious nonsense I decided to play along for a bit.
... Continued  

It shall be noted that my network is sitting behind a solid firewall, effectively blocking any such outgoing notifications or error messages; not to mention that my public desktop does not have Windows OS installed but running on Linux OS.

After agreeing to cooperate the caller stated that he will transfer the call to his supervisor to help fixing my computer. After a few seconds another male speaking in Indian accent took over the call. It was obvious that the phone simply switched hands, as no change in the background noise could be noticed.

The caller gave detailed instructions to open my system log files, which I pretend to have willingly done. During this process he constantly asked "what do you see", "read what the window is saying". It was clear that the questions have been designed to gain hints about the installed Windows version.

After "guiding" me for minutes through various Windows service logs he finally concluded that my computer is full of harmful viruses and malware, which has to be removed in order to prevent Microsoft from deleting my Windows installation. Apparently, the condition has already progressed to a point where it will be impossible for me to fix the problem on my own. The only option would be to precisely follow his instructions, so he could access my computer and remove the dangerous files right now.

Claiming to be devastated I asked him what I should do. He instructed me to open the Windows "Run" command and type the letters exactly as he tells me to. He then spelled out the following web address to be typed into the command field:

Using my tablet I immediately looked up the given web site. is a legitimate Internet service located in Delaware, US, which offers services such as Desktop Sharing from Anywhere, Remote Support, and Screen Sharing.
He then asked to proceed by pushing the "OK"-button. I responded that I am not sure if I should do that, because it is not a Microsoft site. The caller explained that Microsoft has a partnership with this web site to help people like me with such serious computer issues. While appearing hesitant the caller grew increasingly aggravated. His tone turned commanding with the constant threat that Windows will be removed if I don't follow his instructions.

At this point I finally had enough. I exposed my IT background and noted that I am not this foolish to fall for such nonsense. The conversation quickly turned nasty and the caller hang up the phone while still screaming insults in Indian language.

If you are getting a similar call, please hang up the phone.
  • Microsoft does not care about your computer issues
  • Only Windows system crashes are sent to Microsoft; Windows will always ask for your permission before sending. Those reports are handled and stored by an automated system at Microsoft. Nobody ever reads them and you will never get any response.
  • Microsoft cannot and will not remove your Windows installation from your computer, never ever...
    Microsoft can only revoke your activation key if you are using an illegal copy of Windows.
  • Computer viruses and malware do not show up in the system log files. Keep your virus checker updated to be safe.
  • Never allow remote access to your computer unless you know the person or it is suggested by your trusted tech support. Always remain at the computer and watch what is been done or what files are being accessed. You always can get control back by clicking your mouse button.
  • Remote desktop allows access to all files on your computer, including your e-mail, your bank information, your visited web sites, and all your private files and documents. Small programs, Trojans, or worms can be uploaded, allowing full access to your computer without your knowledge at any time.
  • If you have doubts about the caller, ask for his name, go to the support web site, find the contact number, and call back. Support calls are always entered into a database and can be easily verified by the support department.
  • Finally, it is close to Christmas time, the high season for all kind of scams. Be especially vigilant and not have your holidays ruined by being too trustful.

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