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Computer Software Service frauds

From bogus ‘Computer Software Tech Support’ phone calls, e.g. someone from Microsoft or Apple contacting you and telling you there is a problem with your device, to fraudsters asking for credit card information to ‘validate your software’, e.g. validate your windows software, there are a number of computer software service scams you need to look out for.

Fraudsters often use the names of well-known companies to commit their crime, as it makes their communication with you seem more legitimate. This is why it’s important to think twice before giving out any personal information.

Common scams that use the brand names include:

  • receiving a phone call from ‘Microsoft Tech Support’ to fix your computer.
  • receiving unsolicited emails with attached security updates.
  • being asked for your credit card information to ‘validate your copy of Windows’.
  • being told you have won the ‘Microsoft Lottery’.

Computer firms warn that they do not send unsolicited emails or make unsolicited phone calls to request personal or financial information, or to fix your computer. They advise anyone who receives such communication to delete the email or hang up the phone.  If further assurance is needed individuals can contact the firm directly using the phone numbers obtained from their contract or other trusted sources.

Anyone who has lost money to a scam like this should report it to Action Fraud.

Advice to avoid Computer Software Service scams

  • Computer firms do not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer. Fraudsters make these phone calls to try to steal from you and damage your computer with malware. Treat all unsolicited phone calls with scepticism and don’t give out any personal information.
  • Computer firms tend  not to send out unsolicited communication about security updates, although they do send security software updates to subscribers of the security communications program. If in doubt, don’t open the email.
  • Microsoft does not request credit card information to validate copies of Windows. Microsoft does validate requests to download software from its website via its ‘Genuine Advantage Program’, but never asks for any personally identifying information, including credit card details.
  • The ‘Microsoft Lottery’ does not exist –so it’s not true if you’re told you’ve won.

How to report it

If Fraud has been committed report it to Action Fraud. For more advice and to raise any concerns, contact the Office of the Public Guardian.

See also:
'Microsoft Lottery' is a scam
Identity theft scam warning
Warning - MSN Money scam

Source - Action Fraud

Date Published: Jul 21, 2018

Types of fraud

A-Z of fraud

To help understand which fraud you've been affected by, we've categorised them into an alphabetical list.

What is fraud and cyber crime?

Fraud is when trickery is used to gain a dishonest advantage, which is often financial, over another person.

Advance fee fraud

Advance fee fraud is when fraudsters target victims to make advance or upfront payments for goods, services and/or financial gains that do not materialise.

Corporate fraud

Corporate fraud can be any fraud committed against a business.

Individual fraud

Individual fraud could be any fraud that targets a person directly. Individual frauds can differ from frauds affecting businesses and other organisations.

Online fraud

Some fraudsters rely on the internet to commit their crimes. Learn about some different types of internet frauds that and how to protect yourself and get safe online.

Identity fraud and identity theft

Identity theft is when your personal details are stolen and identity fraud is when those details are used to commit fraud.
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