Recently there has been an upswing in a scam that has been with us for some time about which I have repeatedly warned you going back years. The scam starts with a telephone call that you receive purportedly from technical support at Microsoft. The caller informs you that Microsoft has diagnosed problems with your computer, such as viruses. Sometimes they convince you to check your Windows log which will often show many harmless errors that may appear to the uninformed as significant. They then either ask for remote access so that they can fix the problem at no cost to you or they ask for personal information. In both situations the caller is up to no good. If you provide remote access to your computer you will have effectively turned over all of the information in your computer to the caller who can and will then use that information to make you a victim of identity theft. If you provide personal information by phone, that information too will be used to make you a victim of identity theft. With increased public attention being focused on the Microsoft no longer updating the Windows XP operating system and recent security problems with Internet Explorer, more people are falling for this scam.
Microsoft will not and does not contact you by phone in regard to diagnosing software problems. If someone contacts you by phone unsolicited by you indicating that they are from Microsoft tech support and they are calling to help you with a problem that you did not contact them about, you should immediately hang up. You are talking to a scammer. It should be noted, however, that Microsoft does regularly issue software security updates, but they do this in automated updates if you have provided for this service or on their website. Installing the latest security software updates and patches is a critical part of fighting identity theft and scams because hackers exploit vulnerabilities that they discover in commonly used software to make you a victim of identity theft or scams. Software companies are just as constantly coming up with software to correct these vulnerabilities so it is important to install the latest security patches as soon as possible. It is for this reason that I regularly provide you with links to the latest security patches for the software that you use. I assemble this information from the Department of Homeland Security. It is therefore to check Scamicide each day to make sure that you do not miss important information.