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07 Apr 2017
Listen in to a Microsoft phone scam

There is no let-up in the number of telephone calls from fake Microsoft tech support. These scams remain the order of the day. This week, a Dutchman got one of these con artists on the line and decided to record the call. Listen to his recording of a typical Microsoft phone scam.

The man quickly recognizes the scam. He is familiar with this type of fraud. He knows that he has someone on the phone who pretends to be a Microsoft representative and will ask him to give her access to his computer. If he does, the scammers may block access to his data and demand a ransom for its release. And so the man tells the caller that she’s a con artist. However, this doesn’t put the woman with the Indian accent off balance.

Personal information
Interestingly, the Microsoft phone scammer tries to impress her target by presenting all sorts of personal data: his name, address, postal code, telephone number and email address. She is obviously trying to convince the victim that she represents a trusted organisation. Of course, in many cases, the sort of personal information she comes up with will be readily available on the web. To protect the privacy of the man, we have replaced references to his personal information with bleeps.

The caller wants the Dutchman to go and sit in front of his computer. When he tells her that he has no Microsoft PC, she blatantly calls him a liar. This is quite extraordinary, but it’s the kind of aggressive tactic that may overwhelm unsuspecting victims.

Although Microsoft phone scammers have been a plague for many years, there are still quite a few people who are unfamiliar with this type of fraud. Some victims are known to have lost thousands of euros to these con artists.

In 2016, losses reported to Fraud Help Desk as a result of Microsoft phone scams totaled more than 200,000 euros. Last month, several new reports came in from people who had been duped this way by these con artists.

Related article: What to do with foreign (international) calls?

Photo ©  Ferenc Pohly/Flickr.com, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0