ALERT! “Send it to Microsoft” possible scam

By | December 4, 2010

As you no doubt have experienced, from time to time a Microsoft programmes will pop up a message that asks if you want to send the error logs or similar to Microsoft to help them correct the problems in future releases and updates.

However, there is a scam that creates a fake “send it to Microsoft” error report which looks identical and a short while after sending, a helpful engineer phones you to ask if they can help you fix the problem that you have reported. They then offer to take over control of your PC and if allowed to will proceed to remove the problem which they cleverly show you them doing and then (if it gets this far) ask for payment.

Points to note:

Firstly an error message to Microsoft will not result in an engineer calling unless it is one of Readycrest’s engineers responding to an alarm that gets sent to us. The information that you send to Microsoft does not normally contain personal details unless they explicitly say so.

Secondly, we don’t know how they know your telephone number, but we suspect that you will have inadvertently downloaded a malware programme from an innocent looking website which then attaches your details to the error message that it sends. If it can find your phone number on your PC it can probably/potentially find your credit card and other personal details and transmit them as well. We don’t know if it does or not.

Thirdly, we suspect that what the engineer is calling to do (other than get your credit card details) is to clean up any trace of their malware programme so your next Symantec/Spybot scan doesn’t find anything.