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!
DO NOT INSTALL ANY SOFTWARE
FROM ANYONE THAT RINGS YOU
THIS IS A SCAM!
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
If you want a laugh, watch this great video from a young lady that almost, almost fell for the scam!