Internet phone scam investigated by Microsoft
An international scam that targets English-language markets and costs victims an average of $ 875, according to Microsoft.
The scam works by criminals posing as engineers, computer security and calling people at home to tell them they are at risk of computer security threats. The scammers tell victims they are providing free security controls and add authenticity to claiming to represent legitimate companies and use the telephone to refer to their victims by name.
Once you have lured their victims into believing they have a problem and that the caller can help fraudsters are believed to run through a series of techniques of deception designed to steal money.
To establish the scope of this emerging form of Internet fraud, Microsoft surveyed 7,000 users of computers in the United Kingdom, Ireland, USA and Canada. The survey showed that in the four countries, 15 percent of people had received a call from the scammers. In Ireland rose to 26 percent.
Of those who received a call, 22 percent, or 3 percent of the total survey sample, were deceived into following the instructions of the fraudsters, “ranging from remote access to your computer and download the code software provided by criminals to supply credit card information and make a purchase.
The vast majority (79 percent) of people were deceived in this way some kind of financial loss. Seventeen percent said they had taken money from their accounts, 19 percent reported compromised passwords and 17 percent were victims of identity fraud. More than half (53 percent) said they had computer problems later.
In the four countries studied, the average amount of money stolen was $ 875 (U.S.), ranging from $ 82 (U.S.) in Ireland to $ 1,560 (U.S.) in Canada. The average cost of repairing the damage caused to equipment by the scammers was $ 1,730 – an increase to $ 4,800 in the U.S.
“Security software is improving all the time, but at the same time, we are seeing cybercriminals increasingly to tactics of deception to trick people to steal,” said Richard Saunders, director of International Public Relations and Analyst Microsoft . “The criminals have once again demonstrated its ability to innovate new scams corresponds with its relentless pursuit of our money.”
While Microsoft’s research shows the enormous scale of the problem telephone scam at this stage is thought to affect only the countries where the main language is English. However, according to Saunders, is a matter of time before the fraudsters to acquire skills in other languages, and seeking to expand their operations. “The fake lottery scams and other forms of Internet scams have followed this pattern,” said Saunders.
Because the device depend scammers to deceive, Microsoft believes that the most effective protection lies in consumer education to avoid becoming victims in the first place.
The following are tips from Microsoft:
Be suspicious of unsolicited calls in relation to a security problem, even if they claim to represent a respected company.
Never provide personal information like credit card numbers or bank details to an unsolicited call.
Do not go to a website, anything to write on a computer, install software and follow all instructions from someone who does nothing.
Take the caller’s information down and pass it to the authorities.
Use up-to-date versions of Windows and application software.
Ensure that security updates are installed regularly.
Use a strong password and change it regularly.
Make sure the firewall is on and the antivirus software installed and updated.
Microsoft’s survey showed that 67 percent of people who lost money were able to recover, on average, 42 percent of it. Microsoft advises anyone who thinks they may be a victim of a scam call to do the following:
Change the password on your computer, change the password to your primary email account and change the password of the financial accounts, especially banks and credit cards.
Scan your computer with the Microsoft security scanner to see if they installed malware on your computer.
Contact your bank and credit card companies.