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Thursday
Aug112011

Beware the “Microsoft Support Phone Scam”! (ammyy.com)

Please beware ANYONE ringing your home phone and claiming to be from “Microsoft Support” (or any other software company for that matter) and telling you that your PC is “infected” or “corrupted”.

It is a pure scam to get you to install remote control software on your PC and to then use your PC for malicious purpose e.g. what is called a “botnet” of infected PC’s that can be used for spamming, denial of service or other illegal activities.

The woman who called me was reading from a script and offered “step by step instructions to fix my PC”.

The first step is to take you to your “Computer Management” console and then to “Event Viewer” and ask you to look for “all the red crosses that are error messages showing you that your PC is infected/corrupted”.

This is to create fear and doubt in the PC owner.

In reality, just about every PC will have “red error messages” that are utterly harmless and can safely be ignored.

The next step is to direct you to this website – www.ammyy.com – and to try and get you to install their remote control software.

DO NOT DO IT!

 

I REPEAT…

 

DO NOT INSTALL ANY SOFTWARE

FROM ANYONE THAT RINGS YOU

UNSOLICITED!

 

 

THIS IS A SCAM!

 

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My advice at this point is to (1) hang up the phone or (2) verbal abuse the lying filth at the other end and then hang up the phone.

Step (3) is to warn all your friends and relatives, particularly the less computer savvy amongst them and make sure that they don’t fall prey to the scammers.

If you have been scammed and installed the software the only (and I do mean ONLY) safe course is to wipe your hard drive, re-format it and re-install your operating system from scratch.

There is some advice on the internet about using Control Panel to un-install the software from Add/Remove Programmes but personally I wouldn’t take the risk – once your PC has been seriously infected you cannot rely on Add/Remove programmes, and since you probably over-rode your anti-virus programme during the installation of the malicious software I wouldn’t trust it, either.

So it’s back to the installation DVD and installing it from scratch.

Consider it your penance Smile 

If you want a laugh, watch this great video from a young lady that almost, almost fell for the scam!

 

 

 

Reader Comments (3)

Did someone actually call you?

What you could do I guess is install the software in a virtual PC and toy with them for a bit!

August 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTim Buckland

Dear author of the post and users of Ammyy Admin

Unfortunately, there are some cases of malicious use of our software noticed. Please be attentive and never grant access to people you don't know personally or whom you don't trust.

!!! If you receive a phone call claiming to be from 'Microsoft' or someone claiming to work on their behalf, telling you that you have a virus on your computer or some errors which they will help you to fix via Ammyy Admin, it is definitely a scam.

Ammyy Admin itself absolutely safe software but due to its ease of use and free availability it may be used by scammers.

If you became a victim of scammers please see the link which may help http://www.ammyy.com/en/admin_mu.html


Kind regards
Eugene
Ammyy Inc. Team

January 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEugene

I have been called so many times I have lost count. One time I told them I was recording the call and the guy told me to f-off and hung up. Now I just report every call on as many forums as possible. I think public awareness is key.

July 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLuke

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