Beware of phone calls from people who say they are from the Microsoft Security centre

Beware of phone calls from people who say they are from the Microsoft Security centre or people asking for the IT department without knowing a contact name.

Over the past week we’ve heard from several colleagues within Australia who have received these types of calls.  The callers then claimed that the callee had a problem with their computer and attempted to get them to visit a website to approve a remote session so that it could be fixed.   This was an attempt to infect the computer with a Trojan of some kind or other.

We have personally received a call from these scammers advising us that our website security certificate had expired.   They tried to get us to visit a website from our office server so they could assist us with the renewal process.  Of course, this was completely false.

In several cases the scammers also gave a local telephone number to call in case of questions (the number was not connected)

It’s clear that the computer underground is becoming more and more creative and bold in an attempt to gain personal information, steal bank account numbers, or simply take control of a network or home computer.

We’d advise you to be as vigilant as possible and ignore such requests.  Bona fide companies will never call you to ask for passwords or other personal information.

Usually once one of these scammers has gained access to your personal information (username & password combo, credit card or bank account details) the information is sold off in a underground online auction to the highest bidder and used almost within the hour.

If you feel you have inadvertently fallen victim to one of these scams we’d advise you to take the following steps immediately.

  • Disconnect your computer from the internet or network immediately
  • Contact your bank and get your password changed, you also should advise them that you think you may have fallen victim to a scam (this should help protect you)
  • Change your network password (you can ask us to do this is you don’t know how)
  • Contact AMT or your trusted IT provider to discuss the situation

Current Antivirus/Malware software plays a vital role in keeping your computer system protected, however in these cases it’s actually not going to help as the caller is walking you through the process to allow them to access your computer and you are allowing them to proceed with harvesting your details.