"Someone from Microsoft" calls you? Hang up!
If you receive a telephone call from someone claiming to work for a company such as Microsoft or Apple, don’t speak to them – it’s a scam! According to the Centre for Cybersecurity Belgium, this "Microsoft scam" has grown considerably in size in recent times.
How does the scam work?
Someone calls you, trying to pass themselves off as an employee in the Microsoft help department. This person claims there’s a problem with your computer: your device has a virus, has been hacked, does not have a legal version of Windows 10 – and so on.
The caller then suggests you can solve the problem by going to a particular website or by downloading a certain program. That’s how the scammer gains access to your computer. Then, to proceed with the "repair", you’re asked to make a payment. This is often just a few euros that you have to pay using your digipass, for example. You may think that you are transferring just a small amount, but the crook is now in a position to steal hundreds, even thousands, of euros from you.
Respond in the right way
- Never let someone you don’t know take control of your computer. Microsoft or any other tech company for that matter will never contact you by phone to help you resolve computer-related problems.
- Never give anyone your bank codes or other payment details by telephone, e-mail or on a form.
- If you have been asked to install programs on your computer by the scammer, delete them immediately, analyse your device with an antivirus program and delete any malware you can find.
- If you have shared one or more passwords, change them immediately for the accounts in question.