There’s a “Popular” scam going around in which you will get a phone call from someone purporting to be from Microsoft, or some other vague organization like “Computer support”, who will tell you that a problem has been detected with your computer. ¬†It is of course utter bulwarks, they have no way to KNOW what’s going on on your computer – though I guess the ones who pretend to be from Microsoft might manage to persuade you your Windows computer has reported the problem back automatically.
They will attempt to persuade you to let them log in to your computer using one of the many “remote support” tools on the market, most of which are free to the “supportee”. Note – there’s nothing wrong with the tools per se – we use TeamViewer ourselves. But you should only let someone you TRUST use them to control your computer. ¬†Letting one of the scammers in means they can damage your system, install a virus or trojan, access your private files, saved passwords, etc…

The latest variation of this scam is Skype calls from a user called something like “System Notice – Urgent System Repair”. If you answer the call you’ll hear a “robot” automated voice spinning the same sort of sorry story about a problem on your computer. It may even try to “prove” it knows about your actual computer by giving you an “identifying number” from your computer – though of course it gives you a number which when you look it up is the same on all computers! Don’t waste your time listening to it. Ignore the call, Block the caller, and tick the “report abuse” box, and get on with your life. You will be hearing from them again in a couple of days because once everyone blocks their account they just sign up for a new account with a similar name and try again. I don’t know why they think people who blocked their account the first time will fall for it the second time but as it costs them nothing to try…

The screenshot shows a Skype Profile for one of these accounts.

Protect yourself – think – don’t panic – if someone you’ve never heard of pops up and says your computer has problems, talk to someone you HAVE heard of about it if you can’t bring yourself to believe it’s a scam.


[Later that same day]
Calls from new Skype accounts from the same culprits are now up to two an hour. I have changed my Skype settings to accept calls from people already on my contact list only. Another service degraded by idiots.