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Calling All Viruses!?

This happens all too often: the caller on the phone tells you that he (or she) has detected a virus on your computer and, for a fee, he will access your computer and clean out the virus. And you let him!!!! At best, you lose the money that you pay him. At worst, he has both your credit card number and access to personal data on your computer.

This is a scam. Hang up as soon as you realize this is the purpose of the call.

A few notes:

  • Microsoft is not calling you (did you ever try to call them; it’s impossible to get them on the phone!)
  • Even if the caller says he is “Microsoft Certified,” you have no way to verify that, even if there is such a thing.
  • Other tech companies are not calling you either.
  • I’ve had people tell me that they have been called about their Microsoft computers having a virus … and they don’t even have a Microsoft computer.
  • If you don’t answer the call, they never leave a voice mail message for you.

I am sad that scammers pray on our fear of computer viruses. There are legitimate ways to determine if your computer has a virus and legitimate ways to remove viruses, but none of them starts with someone calling you out of the blue.

Please don’t be the next victim!