Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

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Thegame14
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Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by Thegame14 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:40 am

I have now gotten two calls, but months apart from Texas saying they are from Windows support and my home computer has malware. I have anti-malware bites software as well as Norton antivirus with firewall. They know my email address, but that cant be hard to find out, and they say they are not asking for money, they want to help fix my malware. I kept saying this is a scam and he hung up after a few times of me saying this. Anyone else have this happen? Is it legit? (I doubt it)

corysold
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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by corysold » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:43 am

I've gotten similar calls.

It's a known scam, so unless you've contacted them and are expecting a call back, I'd hang up and ignore it.

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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by niceguy7376 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:45 am

I dont think Microsoft (maker of Windows) is staffed enough to run diagnostics on your machine and then link the machine to your phone to call and let you know about it.

It is a pure scam call. I assume those that dont even have a windows machine (ipads and iphones and mac machine owners) might also received those calls.

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Alexa9
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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by Alexa9 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:47 am

I've gotten the call as well. I don't have a Windows computer.
My other favorite one is an Indian accent guy saying "This is the IRS. Final notice."

sport
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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by sport » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:48 am

I've received these calls for years. They are a scam. Just hang up.

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damjam
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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by damjam » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:49 am

Got the calls. Made the T-shirt.
This is a total SCAM.
Do not respond, just ignore the call or hang up or delete any voicemail. Not worth your time or trouble.
They want you to let them install malware on your machine under the guise of "helping you to rid you machine of malware." Ironic isn't it?

Edit to add: Consider getting caller ID if you don't already have it. I screen all of my calls and never pick up anything I don't recognize. I've never missed anything important.

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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by NightFall » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:57 am

I've gotten many of these phone calls. In the last one, I told them that I only had a mac. They claimed that there was a windows computer connected to my wifi. I started cussing and saying that my no good neighbor was stealing my wifi again. I told him to hold on while I got my neighbor and the police so that he could explain to them what was going on. He hung up immediately. Of course, none of my story was true.

Having worked for Microsoft in a former life, I can tell you that they will not call you about your malware.

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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by Calico » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:59 am

I got this call before too. I knew it was a scam and had some fun with it. I told the guy on the phone not only did I not have a computer, but I was Amish and didn't have any appliances. He never asked me about the phone (although the Amish are allowed to have phones, just not in the house I think). I kept asking him if I should get my husband, Yoder. Was there something wrong with the buggy? Did it have malware? It still took a while to get him to hang up on me, but I figured in all that time I wasted, he couldn't call and scam someone else.

I also got a scam call a while back asking me to get an iTunes card for some reason (can't remember the reason... taxes, I was being arrested, I won some prize, something like that). I told them sure, just give me your credit card number, expiration, and the code on the back and I would go out and buy a lot of iTunes cards. Got hung up on and they never called me back.

Lately I've been getting calls in Chinese but it's prerecorded and I can't understand it. I googled it and it turned out it's a scam on Chinese nationals visiting or living the US. Wish I could mess with them. But I stopped answering my phone for numbers I don't know.

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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:06 am

Yes, it is a scam for all the listed reasons.

I let any phone number I don't recognize (and thanks to today's advanced artificial intelligence technology, that is to say looking something up in a list, a number without a name I know) go to voicemail.

The scammers are on to my technique. They never leave a message. If somebody does they're probably legit, and I listen to the voicemail then respond accordingly.

PJW

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camillus
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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by camillus » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:07 am

Calico wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:59 am
I told the guy on the phone not only did I not have a computer, but I was Amish and didn't have any appliances.
I will have to remember this one if I ever get called! :happy

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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by cheese_breath » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:09 am

niceguy7376 wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:45 am
I dont think Microsoft (maker of Windows) is staffed enough to run diagnostics on your machine and then link the machine to your phone to call and let you know about it.
If they could get into your machine to do diagnostics, why not just fix the problem while they're in there?

I imagine half the people on this forum have received similar calls. I remember one when I started asking the guy with the foreign accent some questions, and his only reply was "are you near your computer." That went on about five times before I hung up on him.

It's a scam. What they want is for you to give them access to your computer so they can install some real malware on it.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

adamthesmythe
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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by adamthesmythe » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:10 am

Tell the caller you need his IP address so you can open up the firewall for him.

Seriously. Scam. When was Microsoft ever proactive in solving your problems?

You could ask him how the weather is in New Delhi.

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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by bloom2708 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:13 am

Hang up or yell very loudly into the phone and then hang up.

Nobody from Microsoft or Windows (who is real) will ever call you like that. It is a scam.

If you are bored, it is fun to play along. Asking them for their direct number. Email address. Give them a fake CC number. Ask them for their CC number.
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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:15 am

NightFall wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:57 am
I've gotten many of these phone calls. In the last one, I told them that I only had a mac. They claimed that there was a windows computer connected to my wifi. I started cussing and saying that my no good neighbor was stealing my wifi again. I told him to hold on while I got my neighbor and the police so that he could explain to them what was going on. He hung up immediately. Of course, none of my story was true.

Having worked for Microsoft in a former life, I can tell you that they will not call you about your malware.
I like this response :D

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Thegame14
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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by Thegame14 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:22 am

I told him that I have anti Malware bites software, plus Norton antivirus with a firewall, and I just ran both last night and there were no problems. I said this is a scam. He said no this is not a scam, this is Microsoft support, I said how did you know to call me. He said my computer notified them of the issues. I said this has to be a scam, and repeated that a few times calmly and he hung up.

I just wish there was a way to report people like this. Anyone trying to scam people out of money, should go to jail.

bryanm
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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by bryanm » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:37 am

If you want to learn more about this type of scam, the podcast "Reply All" did a couple of good episodes on them them: https://www.gimletmedia.com/reply-all/long-distance.

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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by Jim180 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:37 am

I frequently get calls saying my Windows license has expired and my computer will no longer work. What they don't realize is that I'm usually on my computer so I can see it's still working fine.

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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:38 am

cheese_breath wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:09 am
...
I imagine half the people on this forum have received similar calls. I remember one when I started asking the guy with the foreign accent some questions, and his only reply was "are you near your computer." That went on about five times before I hung up on him.
...
The person in the conversation being impolite was not you.

PJW

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FGal
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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by FGal » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:39 am

I believe the need to answer the phone is a generational thing. My father would never let a call go to the answer machine if he was home, and he would politely try to explain that the scammer should stop calling him. Which was painful to hear as they were usually smarmy then threatening and my dad just couldn't hang up without trying to reason with them.

If you are not expecting a call, please consider just not answering it. If it is someone you need to speak with , they will leave a message.

Any response- you answering the phone at all - means the scammers have a live number. They can't be reasoned with. They don't have feelings or a concern for anyone. And fussing at them or wasting their time just means they will make sure you number goes on the "harrass til the end of time " list if you piss them off enough.

And it doesn't matter what number they call from now. Caller ID is useless due to number spoofing. They frequently use numbers in known area codes, charitable names, even "steal" real live people or legitimate business numbers. It is easy to do, so reporting it is likely to lead nowhere, as it is the same as a girl in the bar giving a fake number to get the guy hitting on her to go away.

The only possible thing worth reporting is if they leave a call back number in their voice mail. This might be worth reporting if you're really riled up.

Simple solution: screen all calls.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:46 am

FGal wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:39 am
I believe the need to answer the phone is a generational thing. If you are not expecting a call, please consider just not answering it. If it is someone you need to speak with , they will leave a message.

Any response- you answering the phone at all - means the scammers have a live number. They can't be reasoned with. They don't have feelings or a concern for anyone. And fussing at them or wasting their time just means they will make sure you number goes on the "harrass til the end of time " list if you piss them off enough.

And it doesn't matter what number they call from now. Caller ID is useless due to number spoofing. They frequently use numbers in known area codes, charitable names, even "steal" real live people or legitimate business numbers. It is easy to do, so reporting it is likely to lead nowhere, as it is the same as a girl in the bar giving a fake number to get the guy hitting on her to go away.

The only possible thing worth reporting is if they leave a call back number in their voice mail. This might be worth reporting if you're really riled up.

Simple solution: screen all calls.
Blocking calls isn't working well anymore, either.
I'm getting lots of calls from a few key cities (where I know no one), plus assorted other places.

Although the area code and exchange are the same, the last 4 digits occasionally repeat, but that is less and less common. Usually they are different, so there are few, if any, repeats. Hence, nothing to block. :annoyed

So the phone *will* ring, and I usually get to it fast to turn the ringer off, but not disconnect the call, so it won't look like "someone was home", etc.
Also, some numbers displayed are not even complete numbers, such as only 5 digits.

And there are more and more single rings, and then it stops.

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damjam
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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by damjam » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:47 am

FGal wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:39 am
I believe the need to answer the phone is a generational thing. My father would never let a call go to the answer machine if he was home, and he would politely try to explain that the scammer should stop calling him. Which was painful to hear as they were usually smarmy then threatening and my dad just couldn't hang up without trying to reason with them.

If you are not expecting a call, please consider just not answering it. If it is someone you need to speak with , they will leave a message.

Any response- you answering the phone at all - means the scammers have a live number. They can't be reasoned with. They don't have feelings or a concern for anyone. And fussing at them or wasting their time just means they will make sure you number goes on the "harrass til the end of time " list if you piss them off enough.

And it doesn't matter what number they call from now. Caller ID is useless due to number spoofing. They frequently use numbers in known area codes, charitable names, even "steal" real live people or legitimate business numbers. It is easy to do, so reporting it is likely to lead nowhere, as it is the same as a girl in the bar giving a fake number to get the guy hitting on her to go away.

The only possible thing worth reporting is if they leave a call back number in their voice mail. This might be worth reporting if you're really riled up.

Simple solution: screen all calls.
If Caller ID is useless how do you suggest someone screen their calls?

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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by cheese_breath » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:48 am

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:38 am
cheese_breath wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:09 am
...
I imagine half the people on this forum have received similar calls. I remember one when I started asking the guy with the foreign accent some questions, and his only reply was "are you near your computer." That went on about five times before I hung up on him.
...
The person in the conversation being impolite was not you.

PJW
Thank you. That's good to know because I'm often accused of being impolite. :D
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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cheese_breath
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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by cheese_breath » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:51 am

Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:22 am
.... He said no this is not a scam, this is Microsoft support, I said how did you know to call me. He said my computer notified them of the issues....
You should have said, that was just my computer downloading the malware onto yours.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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JoeRetire
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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by JoeRetire » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:54 am

Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:40 am
I have now gotten two calls, but months apart from Texas saying they are from Windows support and my home computer has malware. I have anti-malware bites software as well as Norton antivirus with firewall. They know my email address, but that cant be hard to find out, and they say they are not asking for money, they want to help fix my malware. I kept saying this is a scam and he hung up after a few times of me saying this. Anyone else have this happen? Is it legit? (I doubt it)
Anyone can send an automated call and spoof the sender id so that it appears to come "from Texas" (or anywhere else for that matter).

There is no such thing as "Windows Support". Even if you were to get a support call it would be from "Microsoft Support". And they would never call you anyway.

It's not legit.

This might help: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/hel ... port-scams
Don't be a lemming.

mudphudder
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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by mudphudder » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:02 pm

It's spam.

I get these phone calls and I only have Macs.

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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by S&L1940 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:17 pm

damjam wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:47 am
FGal wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:39 am

And it doesn't matter what number they call from now. Caller ID is useless due to number spoofing. They frequently use numbers in known area codes, charitable names, even "steal" real live people or legitimate business numbers. It is easy to do, so reporting it is likely to lead nowhere, as it is the same as a girl in the bar giving a fake number to get the guy hitting on her to go away.

The only possible thing worth reporting is if they leave a call back number in their voice mail. This might be worth reporting if you're really riled up.

Simple solution: screen all calls.
If Caller ID is useless how do you suggest someone screen their calls?
My simple protocol
If they leave a message (and I need my driveway resealed) I may call back.
As mentioned, caller IDs are spoofed. They come as V plus 15 numbers, familiar looking names with your area code and your three digit exchange as in Charles Manson, 212-555- and the last four digits are always random numbers. Repeat numbers I call block, random numbers I gotta let ring because they never use the same ID and phone number twice, no sense adding them to my call block list.
My favorite is my name as the caller and my number as the phone they are calling from...
These are robocalls, no sense picking up and yelling at the machines.
Sadly, I get identified as a live number because I have calls go to voicemail (sometimes I receive real messages!!).
Sigh, Once you are tagged as a live number the calls keep coming.
Don't it always seem to go * That you don't know what you've got * Till it's gone

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damjam
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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by damjam » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:26 pm

S&L1940 wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:17 pm
damjam wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:47 am
FGal wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:39 am

And it doesn't matter what number they call from now. Caller ID is useless due to number spoofing. They frequently use numbers in known area codes, charitable names, even "steal" real live people or legitimate business numbers. It is easy to do, so reporting it is likely to lead nowhere, as it is the same as a girl in the bar giving a fake number to get the guy hitting on her to go away.

The only possible thing worth reporting is if they leave a call back number in their voice mail. This might be worth reporting if you're really riled up.

Simple solution: screen all calls.
If Caller ID is useless how do you suggest someone screen their calls?
My simple protocol
If they leave a message (and I need my driveway resealed) I may call back.
As mentioned, caller IDs are spoofed. They come as V plus 15 numbers, familiar looking names with your area code and your three digit exchange as in Charles Manson, 212-555- and the last four digits are always random numbers. Repeat numbers I call block, random numbers I gotta let ring because they never use the same ID and phone number twice, no sense adding them to my call block list.
My favorite is my name as the caller and my number as the phone they are calling from...
These are robocalls, no sense picking up and yelling at the machines.
Sadly, I get identified as a live number because I have calls go to voicemail (sometimes I receive real messages!!).
Sigh, Once you are tagged as a live number the calls keep coming.
Yes.
I basically do the same thing.
Although Caller ID can be spoofed it is one data point. If I recognize the person and number I pick up. If it turned out they were someone else I would simply hang up. Although that has never happened - so far anyway.
Everything else goes to voicemail.
I suppose if you had an old style answering machine and a traditional land line you could wait to hear the persons voice.

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Dtort
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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by Dtort » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:35 pm

Don't hang up! Most of these are overseas, so the law can't touch them. Might as well have some fun mocking them. As DW is fond of saying, "Some people are put on earth to be our personal cat toys."
My dad never had a computer, and when he got calls similar to this, he'd channel Sheriff Andy Taylor - "ON line? AWN - line? I don't know... I got a CLOTHES line....". Yes, Dad got bored in retirement sometimes :happy :happy

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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by danielrhall » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:38 pm

I've gotten that call many times. Some times I played with them, sometimes not. One example:

Him: "Your computer is putting viruses on the internet."
Me: "Which one? I have several."
<long pause>
Him: "All of them!"

I gave him points for a nice comeback, but not access to my PC.

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wander
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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by wander » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:52 pm

Easy, I would just hang up the phone. Don't have time for it. I only talk to someone if I am the one who make the call.

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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by BigFoot48 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:01 pm

I recommend and use the free Nomorobo service (if your phone company supports it) which significantly cuts down on junk calls. https://www.nomorobo.com/
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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by miles monroe » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:10 pm

This is what happens when you reply to spam email | James Veitch Ted Talk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QdPW8JrYzQ&t=
Last edited by miles monroe on Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by GrowthSeeker » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:17 pm

On an iPhone, you can keep it in "do not disturb" mode all the time, and make the setting so that you can still receive calls from your "favorites". Then go through your phone directory and bring up any listing you want to receive a call from: friends, doctors offices, businesses etc; you have to "favorite" their number for calls, and also for texting (and other things like email addresses if you get notifications when an email comes through), or whatever combination you want.

The calls still come in, but the ringer doesn't ring. They can still, AFAIK, leave a message if they want, and you can see the "missed call". I have missed a few texts from friends, and I'm not sure why; but otherwise it has been great.

I know Android phones have the same or similar.
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you.

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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by HueyLD » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:22 pm

Last time I got a call about Windows problems, I asked the caller to repeat what he said over and over again because I could not understand him. He finally gave up and never called back.

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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by scrabbler1 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:31 pm

BigFoot48 wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:01 pm
I recommend and use the free Nomorobo service (if your phone company supports it) which significantly cuts down on junk calls. https://www.nomorobo.com/
I have had nomorobo since late 2016. It initially blocked about 80% of the junk calls, then slumped down to around 50%. It has risen again thanks to their staying a few steps ahead of all those junk calls from "Ann from Health Care Hotline."

As to the OP's topic, when I get any of those which don't get blocked (now pretty rare from these folks, it has been at least a year), I yell to the caller, "You're a SCAMMER!" a few times then hang up. Gives me a little thrill without having to waste any more of my time and lets me get the last word.

My cell phone is a simple one so I can't block all the junk on that phone. I just lift the receiver an inch then hang up whenever there is a call I don't recognize and is not in my contacts list (I have given my cell phone number to about 10 people). Yet I have received calls from about 40 numbers starting with my area code and first 3 digits, even though nobody in my contact list has that in their number!

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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by Gnirk » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:59 pm

I've received these calls. it's a scam. How do i know? I use Apple products, no windows products.
BTW, a non-tech savvy friend fell for this scam, and allowed the caller to access his computer. He had to pay $1,500 in ransom. True story.

downshiftme
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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by downshiftme » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:12 pm

This is a scam and has been going on in various forms for years. The newer versions of the scam will ask you to look at some utilities on your computer and show hundreds (thousands!) of error messages, without mentioning that these are a normal part of Windows operation. If they are advanced, they will also walk through finding some USER ID in the registry, and miraculously be able to recite the exact number (dozens of hex digits) to you to "confirm" that it really is your computer that has the problem and they really aren't calling at random. Most users do not know that there are several such obscure ID entries in the registry which are 100% identical on all Windows computers, so the claim to confirm is absolutely fake. Lastly, they will try to take control of your machine with some kind of remote monitoring tools. IF you get to this step, they will gain unlimited access to your computer, plunder any banking or identity information they can find, install backdoor spyware in hopes of stealing banking or identity information in the future and possibly encrypt your hard drive for ransom. Some also send you a big bill for the "technical support" they provide when installing the spyware and then tell you they have "fixed" your imaginary problem.

No Microsoft support group calls random people about computer errors. The "Windows Technical Dept" or other official sounding names are all made up to lure unsophisticated users into believing they are part of Microsoft. There is no point in engaging these people or arguing that your machine isn't affected. They KNOW they are trying to scam you, they are playing a numbers game to find anyone gullible enough to give a credit card number, buy an iTunes card, or allow remote access. This is a scam from start to finish.


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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by Beehave » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:40 pm

I just hang up. No reason to discuss. I'd like to mess with them, but with voice recording verification looming, I try not to talk with anyone I don't know or do business with.

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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by nisiprius » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:54 pm

I don't know why they don't just lie, but there's another clue.

There is no company called "Windows." Or, rather, there probably is, but it isn't the big one in Seattle that develops software.

And if you think about it, Microsoft is in fact very punctilious about always using the name Microsoft, probably due to complicated legal issues around using simple English words. Look at your computer: everything on it is called Microsoft this, MIcrosoft that. Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint... and Microsoft Windows.

I don't want to give any guarantees that scammers won't decide to give a more convincing lie, but if the call were really coming from Microsoft, they would use the name "Microsoft."

MIcrosoft would never refer to a Microsoft Windows computer as "a Windows computer." If I'm wrong about that, post the link to where they do so that I can eat crow.

It's a scam, for sure. Some of the ones I've gotten have tried to scare me by saying they have detected "illegal files" on my computer. It's not really any credit to Apple, but one of the little benefits of owning a Mac is that it is easier to ignore calls about "your Windows computer."
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Re: Phone Calls from Windows saying computer has Malware

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:10 pm

This thread has run its course and is locked (not productive). See: Personal Consumer Issues
Note that topics must be directly connected to your (or your friend's or family's) life as a consumer. General comments or complaints about these topics will be locked or removed.

Note that this subforum has a much lower threshold for locking or removing posts than the financial and investing subforums. In general, controversial, offensive, pointless, divisive or mean-spirited posts or topics may be locked, edited or deleted (with or without notice) at the discretion of the moderating staff even if they do not otherwise violate forum policies.
Also see: Standard Phishing/Scam Threads are now Off-Topic
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