Applies To: Everyone.
It has happened again, I got a phone call from a “Microsoft Registered Partner”… And this time I fought back!!!

The Scam Attempt



0:00 This is Elana from Microsoft Windows tech department  
  The Past couple of weeks your computer has been transmitting a virus  
    Oh no, can you tell me what has happened?
  Whenever you go online doing shopping your files are getting corrupt  
    Oh this sounds really bad
  Don’t worry, I’m from Microsoft we are here to help  
    Ah good, thank you
  Is your computer on?  
    It’s just turning on now
[Actually, I’m at my desk at work doing 100% work related things on my laptop but I’m playing for time so I can write notes]
  Can you see the desktop?  
    Yes it’s on now, what do you want me to do?
3:00 I will just transfer you over to our senior Microsoft Technical Engineer  
    Hello, what’s your name, please?
  Your speaking to Harry, I’m a senior Microsoft Engineer  
    Hi Harry
  Your computer is spreading viruses and we can see error logs from your computer  
    Oh dear, what do you want me to do?
  Press the Windows Key and R, do you see a box  
  Type in eventvwr and press enter, click on Custom Views then on Admin Events. Do you see any errors?  
    Oh there are lots of errors over 1000.
[Here is a screen shot of the errors…]

[Click image to see the full-size version.
This is normal, most computers have loads of errors that they fix in the background, it’s not something to worry about]
  Over 1000! This is lots! There is something very wrong, we can help.  
    OK What do I do next
  Go to this website [Website removed as it is a perfectly fine website and nothing to do with the scam other than they wanted me to use software from it]  
    [At this point I don’t want to go any further as it would give them access to my computer]
Oh no the internet isn’t working at the moment!
  We can help fix that  
    No I have to go sorry, can I have a phone number to ring you back?
  Yes, of course, it’s 020377***** and ask for Harry senior Microsoft Support  
11:03   OK Thank you [Hangs up]
    [I haven’t rung them back…]

How I fought back

I reported them! There is now a central place to report attempted scams like this one! It’s only for non-emergency cases and the option I chose is for cases where the scam attempt failed.

If you are in immediate danger you should ring 999, if you have lost money or possessions you should report a crime to the police and get a crime number.

If like me you just kept them hanging on the telephone for no real reason you can report it as an attempted phishing attempt here (click on the “Report attempted Scams or Viruses” button) or ring them on 0300 123 2040.

The form is super simple to complete and asks a few questions like this:

Click through each question answering as best you can and that’s it! It doesn’t even ask for personal details about you.

Remember Microsoft or any registered partner of Microsoft will not ring you unless you have made contact first.
If in doubt hang up.
My advice, take five, and hang up!
Stay Safe