The National Consumer Agency and Microsoft Ireland today warned consumers of a scam where cyber criminals call consumers, claiming to be from Microsoft or other legitimate technology companies to tell them they have a virus on their computer.
The scammers then get people to download a file from a website and gain access to their computers where they can see personal details including financial information. In some cases they also ask for credit card details.
Details of the scam:
- Consumers are cold called from someone claiming to be from Microsoft, or another legitimate technology company, and told there is a problem with their computer and offered help to
- Once the caller has gained the consumer’s trust, they ask the consumer to log onto a website to download a file to help solve the problem
- They then attempt to steal from the person by accessing personal information, asking for credit card details in some cases and damaging their computer with malware including viruses and spyware
John Shine, Director of Commercial Practices in the NCA, said: “We’re seeing growing numbers of reports of this particular scam and we are warning people to be very careful. Microsoft or any legitimate technology company would never cold call customers to tell them there is a problem with their computer.
“The scammers also using different company names so if you get a call from anyone claiming that there is a problem with your computer – regardless of what company they tell you there are from – hang up immediately and report it to the NCA on 1890 432 432 or get further information on NCA.ie.
Mary Ashe Winton, Customer Experience Manager, Microsoft Ireland, said: “We are advising customers and consumers to treat all unsolicited phone calls with scepticism and not to provide any personal information.
“Anyone who receives an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft should hang up. We do not make these kinds of calls. In addition to gaining access to your personal details, they can also infect your computer with damaging viruses and spyware.”
Visit the Microsoft website for more information on this or other types of bogus visit
Read the National Consumer Agency guide on how to spot and avoid “phishing” scams